Here’s an iPad / iOS wish list item I’ve been thinking about for a while now: I’d love to see AirPlay on the iPad be capable of running in the background.
AirPlay sort of snuck up on me – when I first heard it mentioned I didn’t feel excited, but once I started using it and more and more good apps began supporting it I’ve found it more and more of a favorite feature.
Now there’s just so much great video content available on the iPad – from video podcasts to Hulu Plus to TED Talks and news app videos and all sorts of useful how-to screencasts – and this all just makes AirPlay even more of a killer feature.
But … the iPad is a device that I’m nearly always wanting to be doing something on – not just viewing something on. More often that not, it’s in my hands when I’m watching TV in the evening – and I’m browsing news, playing a game, looking at apps for review, or writing notes. If I use AirPlay and switch away from the app that’s using it, then the streaming stops. So I can’t do anything with the iPad while it’s using AirPlay.
For now, my workaround is to use the iPhone as my AirPlay streaming device. I let it sit there with Instacast open and streaming a video podcast for example, while I may be taking notes on the iPad. Obviously this is a far less than perfect workaround – and one that will not always work as there are a number of iPad apps that won’t run on the iPhone. It’s also just a bit of a nuisance to have to be using both devices for this (I know, I know – First World Problem).
I have no idea how viable (or not) it is to think of giving background running capability to AirPlay. I imagine if it was running in the background and you fired up one of the latest, greatest iPad games then something’s gotta give. For streaming a video podcast in the background while taking notes or similar in a writing app doesn’t feel outrageous to me now that the new iPad has 1GB of RAM.
Anyway, that’s my quick iPad / iOS wish list item for today. I’d love to see this come along with iOS 6, even if it’s just for latest gen iOS devices with enough memory to handle it.
How about you all? What are some of your top wish list items for the iPad and iOS?