Avahi is not “the linux implementation of Apple's proprietary protocols for peer-to-peer communication between their iDevices”. It’s an implementation of zeroconf and multicast DNS/DNS-SD service discovery, a system which enables programs to publish and discover services and hosts running on a local network (Wikipedia).
It’s what printers, servers, workstations and NAS use to announce their services and discover other machines on the local network. It’s what lets you mount a Samba share without knowing the server’s IP address, or to copy file between to laptops connected with a single Ethernet cable without any configuration.
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