Today we were finally deemed worthy of the iOS 4.2 goodness by Apple, with everyone’s favourite iOS devices getting updates. Just as importantly, at least for me, is the update pushed out to the 2nd generation Apple TV. The reason for my excitement about the Apple TV side of the equation is simple – AirPlay.
Up until now, all the iOS 4.2 betas, including the GM, 2nd GM and so on all supported some form of Apple’s new AirPlay tech. This little bundle of magic promised the ability to take video (!!!) and audio from your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and throw it onto a TV via the Apple TV. The latest iteration of iTunes meant the Mac could also join in the fun. The issue with the betas was simple, audio worked, video did not.
Fast forward to today and the aforementioned ATV (I’m lazy and tired – Apple TV is just too long!) software update. Now, finally, we can watch video from the iPad etc, via the ATV. Obviously the end result is video on your TV. YouTube and the Videos apps are the two I have tested so far, and both work absolutely flawlessly. Just to see if I could break it, I’m currently watching The Engadget Show on my MacBook as I type this. The whole thing’s being beamed over the WiFi network to my ATV. Flawless.
The whole shebang is controlled via a menu overlay built into the usual Play/Pause menu inside the iOS QuickTime player. All devices that can receive an AirPlay signal are listed and stabbing the required menu option does the job. Video everywhere!
I’ve taken a couple of screenshots and a photo just to give you an idea of what delights are included in iOS 4.2 and AirPlay. I’m quite possibly more excited about this than I probably should be, but I honestly think AirPlay is just as important an inclusion as multitasking was.
I’ll say it again. Flawless.