Ask the Expert
How Apple iOS 5’s AirPlay Mirroring Can Change Your Home Theater
At a recent developer conference in San Francisco, Apple previewed the upcoming iOS 5, the next version of the company’s mobile operating system. There are loads of new features – all of which you’ll see here at the official iOS 5 page – but here at Hooked Up Installs, we’re particularly excited about the new AirPlay Mirroring technology, which we believe can potentially forever change the dynamic of your home theater or home entertainment system.
Now, this all sounds like typical Apple fanboy speak, but there really is something to be said about AirPlay Mirroring technology for iPad 2. Sure, there already exists something called AirPlay (formerly called AirTunes), which wirelessly streams multimedia content – like movies, music, photos, and videos – from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch onto your HDTV screen via Apple TV. The iOS 5 takes this big-screen treatment to another level by supporting video mirroring, which gives users the ability to wirelessly – and securely – stream whatever’s on the iPad 2 onto the TV screen, also via Apple TV.
It’s kind of a catch that you still need to spend $99 on an Apple TV box to make AirPlay Mirroring work, but think of the new technology as wireless – and instant – HDMI connectivity. Everyone in the home theater or home entertainment room sees exactly what’s on the iPad through a bigger screen – even when you rotate the tablet from portrait to landscape or zoom in and out on photos. And because it literally mirrors everything on the iPad, users can now stream everything: not just movies, photos, and music, but also other kinds of multimedia, apps, videos, games, and pretty much everything else that’s happening on the tablet device. Indeed, everything on your iPad 2 has suddenly become “mirror-able”, and in a format that supports 1080p playback, too.
Jeremy Lockhorn of Clickz.com has a great piece on why AirPlay Mirroring is the most important feature of the iOS 5. He cites three reasons:
- The app-ification of TV – and the changes this will bring to mobile advertising. “Developers don’t have to do anything differently. It’ll just work. There is little doubt, though, that a new category of apps is on the horizon that is designed from the ground up to be used on TV, and it will be interesting to see what that does to ad formats. With almost no modification, rich media-like formats from Apple’s own iAd as well as other players like Medialets will likely display flawlessly on the big screen, bringing an entire new level of engagement to mobile advertising.”
- TV Web browsing. “Suddenly, you’ve got full access to the web, using intuitive touch as your interface, yet presenting the whole thing on your big TV. Google is undoubtedly planning something similar, but for now, iOS 5 gives us the clearest picture of how the browser and the television may come together.”
- Dual-screen interaction. “According to a recent Yahoo/Nielsen study, 86 percent of mobile web users are on their phones while watching TV… communicating with family and friends via social networks, or… looking up additional information on the program they’re watching. Companies are trying to figure out this user experience, creating synchronized two-screen experiences…. It’s a hot space that every major network is experimenting with. AirPlay Mirroring brings this capability (and potentially more) to iOS devices.”
Here’s a video demo of AirPlay Mirroring courtest of AppleNApps.