The list of AirPlay-enabled apps has grown considerably in the past year, and third-party developers are picking up the challenge of delivering an experience that will translate smoothly and compellingly from the small to the big screen. Now that Apple TV has a customer base consisting of 4 to 5 million users, we can truly begin to regard Apple’s “hobby” as a serious facet of the overall Apple experience and take a closer look at what AirPlay brings to the TV-based environment.
Apple has an inside track on AirPlay functionality, and with iPhoto, third-party developers have a high bar to reach when it comes to photo apps. All of the most useful tools for photo editing are at your fingertips. In addition to effortless streaming to Apple TV, the social and cloud-based sharing options are outstanding.
One of the first third-party apps to make great use of AirPlay, FitnessClass only gets better over time. Over 370 workouts and counting, with a much-requested download option to take your training with your wherever you go and play it back on whatever big screen you choose.
Expand your mind and your aspect ratio. Every single TED video is yours for the taking, covering a multitude of expert presentations on topics from the immediately practical to eye-opening glimpses of the future. The worst thing about TED was that you never had time to see everything that you wanted to see; with AirPlay, you can watch it wherever and however you like.
I know… it’s hard to justify a browser app purchase when Safari gives you so much. But Perfect Browser really does do its best to live up to the name, and the TV out and AirPlay functionality makes it the choice to browse on the big screen. You’ll almost forget you’re using a mobile device once you experience the extra screen space, tabbed browsing, and support for desktop-format website rendering; among many other great features.
Like iPhoto, the AirPlay functionality is integrated right from the start, so you’ll never hit any third-party speed-bumps on the way to streaming your videos to Apple TV or any other compatible big screen display. Editing movies has never been more intuitive, and sharing has never been easier. Unless five bucks is too rich for your blood, this one is a no-brainer for anyone who wants to work with videos.
With stunning HD graphics and split-screen multiplayer, RR2 makes the perfect AirPlay game, and makes you realize that the Apple TV can beat the Wii in many respects. OK, so games are very subjective; racing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea; so luckily, there’s also the please-everyone choice of Angry Birds HD which can do AirPlay mirroring just fine.
Skype may not be the uncontested champion of communications that it once was, but having all of the functions of Skype on AirPlay-compatible big screens is still undeniably compelling. Once you’ve done video calling on your HDTV, you’ll be hooked (or terrified, depending on how your contacts look that day).
This is truly just the tip of the iceberg, both as far as what is currently available and what AirPlay has in store. From productivity to music, from lifestyle to video, both official and third-party developers are constantly refining what can be done via wireless connections to Apple TV. If the industry rumors and predictions are on the right track, Apple’s next conquered frontier will be the living room. And we’re already well along the way to having a rich collection of apps to make the most of the experience.