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...
Star Walk for iPhone is an amazing star gazing app that allows you to turn your iPhone into a digital planetarium. You can use the app as simply a reference app or as an interactive app as you're star gazing. For iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS users you can use the built-in compass function to make the app even more interactive.
Should you buy and iPad now for the holidays or should you wait until early next year for iPad 2? That's an important question as gift giving season is upon us, and it's the topic for the second episode of our new, conversational video podcast, TiPb TV.
Rene and I discuss when we think iPad 2 will come out, what extra features it might have, if iPad 1 will stick around at a reduced price, and what value you'll get out of the current iPad for the next few months while you wait.
It's instant gratification vs. more later with a dose of Android Galaxy Tab and BlackBerry Playbook thrown in for good measure. So if you've been trying to decide between getting an iPad now -- for yourself or for that special someone -- or waiting for a -- maybe FaceTime equipped -- iPad 2 next year, check out TiPb TV and we'll help you make the best choice possible.
Should you get an iPad or MacBook Air, or more properly, who should get an iPad and who would do better with a MacBook Air? That's the topic for the very first episode of TiPb TV, our new, more conversational, video show.
Rene and I go back and forth on the pros and cons of the smaller, less expensive, iOS powered iPad and how it compares to the only slightly bigger, double the price, Mac OS X sporting MacBook Air. This is the first time Apple really has two very different products in overlapping categories and there's really no best answer, just a breakdown of which might be best for you, for your kids, for your parents, or just for your inner geek.
Keyboard vs multitouch, storage, speed, battery life, portability, and which is better for things like reading, watching, and browsing vs. production and productivity are all huge factors in the decision (as is cost of course!)
So if you've been trying to decide between an iPad and a MacBook Air this holiday season check out our very first TiPb TV and we'll try to help you make the best choice possible.
Skyfire for iPhone is a web browsing application that converts Adobe Flash to HTML5/H.264 so you can view it on iPhone or iPad touch. Seeing as Apple chose not to implement Flash into iOS, a lot of videos on the web still can't be watched on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Skyfire steps in to try and bridge this gap and while it's a nice feature to have, but not always the best experience.
Apple is set to release the long -- long! -- awaited iOS 4.2 for iPad any day now and the video above has everything you need to know about it in just 10 minutes. We're talking AirPrint, AirPlay, multitasking, folders, Game Center, unified inbox and threaded email, Find in Safari page, and much, much, more.
Any day now Apple will release iOS 4.2 for iPhone and iPod touch so we figured we'd show you everything you needed to know about it in just 5 minutes (okay, 6, but we needed that extra minute!). That includes AirPrint, Airplay, Find in Safari page, new Text Tones, and much more.
MarkdownMail for iPhone and iPad allows you to write articles in the Markdown format. You'll then be able to export the markdown in an email or send beautifully formatted HTML emails from the app itself. For those who aren't familiar with what markdown is, let's cover that first. Markdown is a markup language created by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz. It's extremely easy to learn and extremely convenient and efficient for publishing online. Markdown will basically convert your content into valid and properly formed XHTML. You don't have to deal with HTML tags and code. Markdown will take care of that for you.
Read on for a quick walkthrough of MarkdownMail which is currently available for both iPhone and iPad.