According to another purported email response from Steve Jobs, the AirPlay feature introduced in iOS 4.2 for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad should be updated in 2011:
Hi, I recently updated both my iPhone 4 and iPad to 4.2. I think my favourite feature is airplay. This is seriously amazing and makes sharing content seamless. I just purchased Apple TV and was wondering are you ever going to make airplay video work for videos in safari and 3rd party apps? I hope to get a response. :)
The Steve Jobs reply:
Yep, hope to add these features to Airplay in 2011.
Sent from my iPhone
While most of us wanted AirPlay to support anything that used the standard iOS video controller, the current implementation is severely limited, providing audio-only streaming options for the most part, with video available only from the built-in iPod app (and Video app on iPod touch and iPad), and YouTube app.
This limitation has been removed for developers via one line of code and for Jailbreakers via AirVideoEnabler, so it would be outstanding to see Apple fix it out of the box for everyone.
Unfortunately, 2011 is a ways away still, and kind of puts the kibosh on rumors of an iOS 4.3 update in December (unless that's really only to support subscription newspapers for iPad).
VIdeo of AirPlay in action after the break... If you've tried out -- or have been waiting to try out -- AirPlay streaming to Apple TV, let us know your thoughts!
iOS developer extraordinaire Erica Sadun decided to take a look into iOS 4.2's AirPlay feature (and see if she could figure out why it was restricted to audio-only outside Apple's YouTube and iPod/Video apps (i.e. there are only audio AirPlay API currently available to 3rd party App Store developers). Here's what she's found so far:
Having gotten this proof of concept working, there's still a lot left to get done to transform this into a stable solution that works with general applications. Keep in mind that you'll be working with unpublished APIs, so the above classes and code are not App Store Safe. That's why we have a jailbreak world, after all.
The bad news is it looks like it will take an "Act of Apple" to get proper, video-supporting AirPlay API into developers hands and into App Store apps. (So developers, get thee to the bug report system and ask for this to be fixed and surfaced asap). The good news, at least for now, is that Steven Troughton-Smith has reduced the process to a single line of code, eliminating the YouTube work-around.
Yes, it still won't be App Store safe, but it's jailbreak friendly, works flawlessly, and suggests only a single item that Apple could move to a public API to open up this functionality to developers. What's more, with a little screen scraping or off-screen layer manipulation and a clever use of AVFoundation, you can probably have games working out to Apple TV almost immediately.
Indeed...! Check out her full post via the link below for details on how it all works.
One of the flagship features of iOS 4.2 for iPad and iPhone was and arguably still is AirPlay -- the ability to wirelessly beam video to an Apple TV or audio to an Airport Extreme with speakers or other AirPlay-compatible (formerly called AirTunes-compatible) audio gear. And it works great. It really does. Magically even. Like Star Trek. Provided you only want to beam video from the iPod app (Video on iPad and iPod touch) and YouTube app. With any of those apps, you get the AirPlay video option, tap it, and your Apple TV throws the content right up on your big screen. You can even exit the player app and, thanks to iOS 4.x multitasking, the video keeps playing via Apple TV while you surf the web, check email, etc.
Sure, you already have a YouTube app on Apple TV, but if you've found a great video on your iPad, this saves you the time and effort of searching for it again on your Apple TV. You just tap AirPlay and you're sharing. Theoretically everyone in the family could have a video on their iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and take turns sharing them without having to stop and search for them one after the other on the Apple TV. It's the convenience factor.
But here's the rub -- any other app, even Apple apps like the iTunes Store's streaming video podcasts and YouTube videos played in Safari don't have a video option -- they're audio-only. Same goes for apps like Air Video and even Netflix, which is already built into the Apple TV anyway, just like YouTube.
Same goes with the Photos app. You can show your pictures, no problem, but there's no way to show a video shot with your iPhone and stored in the Camera Roll. There's no AirPlay button available for that and if you try to work around it with the AirPlay widget in the fast app switcher UI, you get audio-only at best and nothing at worst. You actually have to sync home movies off your iPhone, and then sync them back in order for them to work. That's frustrating to say the least. The ability to quickly shoot and wirelessly show off home movies via AirPlay is the killer apps for parents.
Maybe Hollywood is to blame. Apple is uber-careful about not offending the incredibly offensive folks who make the movies and generally treat their own customers as content criminals. That might explain things like locking out the Air Video ap, which can load MKV and AVI files (torrent favorites), but why not iTunes? Why not home movies in the Photos app?
It makes the kind of sense that doesn't, and it turns what should be a terrific new feature in iOS 4.2 into a bit of a tragedy in this first incarnation.
Update: John Gruber thinks Apple might have run out of time, wanting to ship iOS 4.2 in November and not able to finish system-wide AirPlay support. Perhaps, like network AirPrint, the full implementation was scaled back for the release version. If that's the case, hopefully there'll be an iOS 4.3 early next year...
Curious how to use the new iOS 4.2 AirPlay feature to play the movies you shot on your iPhone on the bigger Apple TV screen? Unfortunately, Apple didn't include this functionality. You can still do it. Sort of. But it's a very kludgy and annoying work around. Check it out after the break!
UPDATE: As noted in the comments, the original tip below provides audio-only output with no video support. I initially thought this was a bug -- had to be a bug -- but no. Updated tip after the break!
As we reported earlier, Apple has announced that sometime today we will finally see the much anticipated iOS 4.2 update for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and what's more -- Apple TV should be getting 4.2 today as well.
What everyone is anticipating is the use of AirPlay, which was probably a big selling point for most buyers of the new Apple TV. Now any iOS 4.2 equipped device will be able to send videos, audio, and photos to their big TV screen.
The iOS 4.2 GM build seems to missing something -- AirPlay support for iPhone 3G. As we all know, iPhone 3G is already missing several iOS 4 features, and wasn't scheduled to get AirPrint either. Apple has said in the past 2008 hardware just wasn't able to keep up. However, AirPlay was alive and well on iPhone 3G throughout iOS 4.2 betas and Apple's very own website claimed that AirPlay would work for every iOS 4 device, which would include the iPhone 3G.
We've seen iPhones used to control iPad games before but now it looks li
Looks like our dreams of using our iPhones as a controller while playing iPad games on our TV are coming true. Big Bucket Software is the first to make it happen.
The Incident is a retro-style action game available on the iPhone and iPad that has a controller mode which allows use of your iPhone as a controller for the iPad. In their next update, you will be able to use your iPad as a console (with video out) so that you can play the game on your TV. This is very exciting and we can't wait to try it out.
Now it's time to dream further. Sure, using AirPlay to stream the game directly to Apple TV would be awesome, but it'd be even more awesome and much more elegant for Apple to open up the SDK of Apple TV and allow developers to make games that can be purchased directly with Apple TV. Pair this with Game Center, and Apple could make a decent competitor in the console business.
To see a video of The Incident in action, follow us after the break!