Under The Microscope

Sending Any Audio to Android Devices via AirPlay, With Airfoil

Update (December 12th, 2012): The information below is somewhat deprecated. We now recommend our own free Airfoil Speakers for Android.

As Android has grown, we’ve received more than a few requests to bring both Airfoil and Airfoil Speakers to the platform. It only makes sense – people with Android devices want to be able to send audio from those devices out to AirPlay receivers, just like iOS users can. They also want to be able to turn their Android devices into AirPlay receivers, to receive audio sent from their Macs or PCs. Right now, however, we have no concrete plans to bring either of these apps to Android.

AirBubble IconThat doesn’t mean you can’t receive audio from Airfoil on your Android phone though! As it turns out, there’s a third-party AirPlay receiver for Android called AirBubble. Much like Airfoil Speakers Touch on iOS, AirBubble turns your Android device into an AirPlay receiver. It can then receive audio from your Mac or PC can play, thanks to Airfoil.

To check out AirBubble, just download it from the Android Market. The free version will let you try it out, and receive audio for 30 minutes per launch. If you plan to keep using it, you’ll probably want to purchase the $2 AirBubble License app to unlock unlimited audio playback.

Like the Boxee Box previously discussed, AirBubble running on Android does not play audio in sync with other outputs. That means you won’t be able to include your Android device in a multi-output system if you want everything to play in sync. However, if you just want to send from a Mac or PC to your Android device, you’ll be all set.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the Android platform for future opportunities. For now though, if you want to play any audio from your Mac or PC to your Android phone, check out AirBubble in conjunction with Airfoil.

5 Responses to “Sending Any Audio to Android Devices via AirPlay, With Airfoil”

  1. Mark Jacobs says:

    Using Nicecast and one of the many general radio applications like Android Online Radio can also allow you to stream music to your Android device.

  2. Billy says:

    I have been a long time follower of RA’s products having purchased Airfoil, AHP, Fission and Pulsar years ago. I built a whole-house audio set up around Airfoil and some home-built software because what was (is) available is weak in “just give me music” or expensive. I asked for Airfoil for Android abut 2 years ago here and since I haven’t gotten much feedback I decided to try out the Logitech Squeezebox. I have to say that it’s performed more than satisfactory thus I’ve purchased several for gifts and added more to my home. Using the Android Squeezebox app is great and allows me to control any SB I chose. I also have AirBubble but to be honest; why stream from my Mac to my Android when I can just stream it directly from the internet which is almost always since most everything I listen to is in the cloud. I’m a big Mac user with 3 laptops, 1 iMac, iPad and my wife’s iPhone. I and the rest of my family use Androids since we like to tinker with our phones and use them for travel and work. Sorry, iPhones are horrible work devices (navigation, separate work email & calendars apps – “Touchdown”, etc). What would be a killer for Squeezebox for me is Airfoil for Android and until then, my Airport Expresses are staying in the drawer. Looking forward to your venture into the Android arena. Keep up the great work and support!

  3. bhojai says:

    I am shocked that RA has flat refused to develop, at the very least, an Android Airfoil Speakers app. Typical “Apple” mentality. I do not use Apple products for this exact reason. What a slap in the face to the millions of Android users. I am a paid user of RA products and have an entertainment center in my back yard and the only obvious way to include this area to my whole house RA audio system would be through such an app.

  4. Neven says:

    @bhojai I’m also shocked, shocked and awed and belligerent, and maybe a little turned on.

  5. HansAlbers says:

    That’s definitively a big omission and makes me sad. The smartphone is the ultimate steering control, you’re always having beside you and will become more important. I will buy an android phone next month (I do not like proprietary iphone stuff) and like other users it seems like there’s no way to keep my aiport-express stuff running. I am sure there is a market for an android app.

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