Never mind using your laptop or desktop in order to play a PowerPoint slideshow presentation or something similar. You can instead use the smartphone you probably have since everyone has one in 2020, whether it’s an Android or iOS device from Apple. These cellular phones with Wi-Fi capabilities and powerful apps are not like your father’s or grandfather’s cellphones of yore. They’re handheld supercomputers with phone capabilities seemingly straight out of sci-fi.
To connect iPhone to projector, you simply need to get a projector that’s compatible with the iPhone and the Lightning port. When connecting an Android device to a projector, you instead require a USB-C port to allow you to use a USB-C cable that links up to your projector’s USB-A port. In lieu of a Lightning cable and port, you can invest in a Lightning to USB-C or Lightning to HDMI converter instead.
How to Connect an iPhone to a Projector with a Cable
A simple Lightning or adapter cable is the easiest way to connect your iPhone to a projector. Every projector in the 21st Century has a video cable allowing it to connect to phones, tablets, or laptops whose content is earmarked for projection, whether they’re movies, TV series, videogames, notes for school, or business slideshow presentations. That’s what you’ll use for your iPhone.
- Standard Video Port: Your iPhone doesn’t have a standard video port for HDMI, VGA, or A/V connections that use component video or composite cables. Unless the projector you’re getting had a Lightning port made specifically for iPhone users, you’ll need an adapter in order to make your iPhone work with your projector the same way your laptop would. You specifically require a Lightning to USB-C or Lightning to HDMI converter adapter.
- Apple and Its Two Projector Adapters: You can avail of 2 adapters from Apple to help you connect the iPhone to the projector. First is the Lightning to VGA adapter that enables you to link an iPhone to vintage projectors that make use of VGA video cables common with the 1990s and 2000s computers and laptops. There’s also the Lightning Digital AV Adapter that allows you to connect the iPhone to an HDMI cable or even a TV set with A/V ports.
- Older Apple iPhone Models: The iPhone basically serves as the source media and the receiving devices serving as displays when it comes to using adapters or simple linkage cables. You can even link older iPhone models dating back to 2007 with the 30-pin dock connector to a projector. However, you have to avail of specific video cable adapters for those models to enable them to link up with a similarly vintage LCD projector or even the more modern DLP projectors.
- Vintage versus Modern Projectors: If you regularly use the same projectors with your smartphone from Apple, it pays to buy one or two of these cables to suit that particular set of projector units. Just check the cable or port on the projector if you want to use the right one for your iPhone. A VGA port has a 30-pin cable that connects to a 30-pinhole port with screws on either side that’s similar to the connector on most computer monitors. HDMI, in contrast, uses HDTV-standard thin, wide plugs.
- To Buy Multiple or Single Adapters: It’s actually more common to buy an adapter for your iPhone than to find a projector made for it with a Lightning connector. This is why the European Union aims to standardize USB-C as the main media connector for all phones for the iOS and Android operating systems, much to the chagrin of Apple. Regardless, if you’re on the go with your cellphone a lot and you have to connect it to different projectors, it makes more sense to buy both cable types for maximum versatility.
How to Connect an iPhone to a Projector Wirelessly
Not all projectors require cables. In fact, most iPhones connect to newer projectors wirelessly so that you can ditch the cables and just link up your smartphone with your projector through technologies such as Bluetooth and whatnot. How you should go about wireless linkage depends on the model of the projector. Sometimes, you might need to connect a transceiver on the iPhone and a receiver on the projector to allow wireless linkage.
- Check Wireless Connection Instructions on Your Projector: The instruction booklet or the control panel display of your projector should display instructions on how to go about wirelessly connecting your iPhone to it. Just follow the instructions on-screen or on the page. Otherwise, specifically, research on the Internet whether your projector can do wireless connections on its own or with the assistance of a wireless transceiver set that can allow even vintage LCD projectors to connect wirelessly to your phone. I
- Daisy-Chaining Your Projector Connection with AirPlay: You can daisy-chain a projector to your Apple TV to allow it to serve as your connector to your iPhone. An Apple TV and a projector can serve as your winning combination thanks to Apple’s propriety wireless media-streaming AirPlay technology. Through this scenario, you can use Apple’s AirPlay to send the movie, presentation, or streaming video from your iPhone to your Apple TV, which then connects to your projector.
- Connecting an iPhone to a Projector via Apple TV: Make sure your iPhone is linked to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV. Open Control Center on your phone then tap the Screen Mirroring button. Tap the name of the Apple TV that you wish to make a connection with. In newer iOS versions, your iPhone screen will appear on the projector linked to the Apple TV at this point. If you have an older iOS version, you need to move the mirroring slider to green or “on”. Tap “Done” in order to begin your presentation or viewing your movie.
- Connecting an iPhone to a TV with AllCast: Aside from doing wireless streaming with your Apple TV linked to your projector, you can also mirror your iPhone to any projector that has the following devices connected to it—DNLA-compatible devices, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Google Chromecast. You can also daisy-chain your projector to your TV if it’s one of the smart TVs from Panasonic since they could link up to your iPhone almost as easily as it could with your Apple TV.
- AllCast Works Like AirPlay: You need to download the AllCast app on your middleman display device that you can link to your projector for screen mirroring purposes to allow linkage between your iPhone to your projector. AllCast is a good app that works like AirPlay except it’s not limited to Apple devices and works for devices that don’t support the AirPlay app. Simply install the app, launch it on the devices supporting it, then mirror your iPhone screen to them before linking your projector to them to extend the display.
- Why Daisy-Chaining and Screen Mirroring Works: The beauty of linking your iPhone to Apple TV via AirPlay or AllCast-compatible devices with AllCast by screen mirroring is that what appears on your screen will appear on the projected image of your projector. You can also have additional features such as the “Do Not Disturb” function that saves you from embarrassing moments like having your wallpaper screen or other Chrome tabs visible on the projector when you intend your audience to only view the media player or Keynote presentation.
Troubleshooting Your iPhone to Projector Connection
Do the following if you encounter these common issues when linking your iPhone to your projector by cables or wirelessly.
- What If You Can See Video But Can’t Hear Audio? Make sure you’re using a Digital A/V Adapter since it has an HDMI port and HDMI cables allow both video and audio signals to travel in one wire. If you’re instead using a VGA adapter on your projector, you’ll need to use a separate audio cable or signal receiver since such projectors lack built-in speakers. To hear audio from your VGA adapter, you’ll need something like a separate Bluetooth speaker or a headset jack to a TV, stereo, or PC speaker.
- What If You can Hear Audio or See Video? The very first thing you must do when you have connection problems is to check if your cable connections are secure or reset the connection via power cycling until it finally works. If the problem persists and it’s your app that doesn’t display video or play audio, then the app might not be compatible with your adapter. Go to the app’s info page on the App Store, Google the information, or contact the developer to check compatibility.
There are loads of Apple apps or programs available to turn your phone into a computer that does PowerPoint Presentations or slideshows for your business meetings or school projects. There are apps for making and presenting presentations such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Keynote that works with your Apple mobile phone but works even better when your iPhone is connected to a projector since you can’t obviously huddle around a phone to squint at every slide and whatnot.
With that said, your best bet to connecting your iPhone to a projector is to get one with a Lightning port. Otherwise, avail of a Lighting adapter to connect to other projectors lacking this port. It’s also possible to connect to a projector wirelessly using Bluetooth tech. Your projector should be able to identify a Bluetooth device like your iPhone then get access to it for projection purposes.
- “About Apple Digital AV Adapters for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch“, Apple.com, January 24, 2019
- Vanshika Malhotra, “EU wants all smartphones to feature USB Type-C port“, India TV News, January 17, 2020
- Sam Costello, “How to Connect an iPhone to a Projector“, Lifewire.com, March 11, 2020
Image Source: By Jleeme