TIL You can access other LAN-connected devices via .local TLD

I have a few videos on my iPad in the VLC app and I wanted to access the app’s library using my iPhone. Thankfully the VLC iOS app has a “Sharing via WiFi” feature which creates a server to shares the files on the network so I can just enter the IP address of the iPad on the iPhone.

I never took notice of the .local domain and always have used the IP address. Not until now. To my curiousity I tried entering the iPad’s domain kierons-iPad.local on my Windows computer and holy shit it works!! You’d usually need to add the IP of the device in your hosts file or start your own DNS server. But without any configuration or whatsoever, I was able to access another device on the network through its hostname appended by the .local tld! There’s a catch though. Apparently, it works only because of the Bonjour service which comes bundled when installing iTunes.