Tag Archives: AirPlay

Living with the HomePod- Day One

I was a little late getting started with my HomePod yesterday. I was in Boston for meetings all week, and my plane didn’t get in until 8:15 last night. By the time my family picked me up and we got home and I unpacked, it was getting late and I was beat. I did set it up and listened to a little bit of music, but my wife had to work today and needed to turn in, so I turned it off after a few minutes and got some sleep myself.

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Apple’s HomePod Arrives on Feb 9, but it’s Still Not Quite Finished

Apple has finally lifted the veil on its newest hardware platform. The company announced today that the HomePod will arrive on February 9, with preorders starting on Friday! However, it’s not all good news, as a couple of features are still delayed until later this year.

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The Nintendo Switch: How Apple Had a Gaming Giant on the Mat and Let Them Get Back Up- Part Three

In the last installment, I talked about Apple’s missed opportunities and overall apathy when it comes to gaming. In this final chapter, it’s time to talk about what Nintendo has done right since the failure of the Wii U. There are also some interesting comparisons to be made between Apple’s ambivalent attitude toward gaming, and areas where they have been more aggressive, and ultimately more successful.

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The Nintendo Switch: How Apple Had a Gaming Giant on the Mat and Let Them Get Back Up- Part Two

In Part One, I covered from 2006, when Nintendo became the kings of console gaming and were still flexing their muscles and substantial lead in mobile gaming, up until 2013 when Apple had turned the tables in mobile and Nintendo’s revenue and stock price were in free fall. Now it’s time to take a look at how and where Apple dropped the ball in gaming, the App Store in general, and especially on the big screen, and the ramifications.

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The Nintendo Switch: How Apple Had a Gaming Giant on the Mat and Let Them Get Back Up- Part One

I finally managed to track down a Nintendo Switch in stock right before Prime Day, which is NOT as easy as you might think. You can find bundled “deals” at ThinkGeek/GameStop and other retailers, but finding a stock Switch alone for the regular price of $299 takes either luck or signing up for in-stock notifications or trackers. This after close to five months on the market shows a level of interest that feels reminiscent of the first year of the Wii. I don’t think predicting sales of 100 million Switches is reasonable right now, but to dismiss this unique very and well-designed hybrid console is just as unwise.

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AirPlay Multitasking: All iPad Video Apps Should Have This

iPad AirPlay Multitasking

Last night I noticed a friend’s mention on Google+ that the HBO Go app now supports AirPlay Multitasking. As in, you can be streaming your HBO content from your iPad to a big TV via Apple TV and at the same time switch away from the HBO Go app and do other things on the iPad.

This could also be referred to as the ability for AirPlay, with full audio AND video, to work in the background. I’m not an HBO subscriber – but seeing this feature added to their app made me curious about how many iPad video apps support it.

My quick round of testing today shows that only about 50% of video apps for iPad support AirPlay Multitasking – with full video. This is a relatively small sample of course, but I tested 16 video apps out on my iPad 3 and iPad mini and found that the following apps do not support AirPlay Multitasking:

Epic Rap Battles of History, Frequency, Watchup, CNN, History, Video Time Machine, ABC News, BrainPop Jr

Here’s the good news – these apps do offer support for AirPlay Multitasking:

MLB At Bat, TED, YouTube, iTunes, Concert Vault, PBS, Squrl, ShowYou

The multitasking ability is a huge plus for many of us who are often dividing our focus between two screens. I spend parts of many evenings watching something on TV while also playing an iPad game or checking social networks, or even taking review notes. It’s great to be able to do that while viewing (often better) content via AirPlay.

I think all iPad video apps should add support for AirPlay Multitasking. What do you all think? Is this feature important to you?

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Wish List Items: AirPlay Mirroring to the Mac

AirPlayMirroring1

AirPlay Mirroring is one of the best new features in iOS 5. It allows you to mirror the screen of your iPad 2 wirelessly to a big HDTV screen if you have an Apple TV 2 – so everything you do on the iPad 2, in any app, is shown on the TV screen.

It’s a superb feature for gaming on the iPad, and for presentations or just showing off a great new app or set of photos without having to be tethered close to the TV screen.

Rumors this week suggest that the feature may soon be added to OS X Lion – so Mac screens can be mirrored to a big TV as well, and we’’ll have AirPlay Mirroring from the Mac.

Here’s the rumor that turns out to be true that I want to see: AirPlay Mirroring to the Mac.

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Real Racing 2 HD To Be First iPad Game with Support for Wireless Gaming Over AirPlay

RealRacing2HD

Real Racing 2 HD is set to be the first iPad game to support full screen wireless gaming over AirPlay.

Exciting news from Firemint, the developers of Real Racing games for iPad, today.

At Monday’s WWDC 2011 keynote event it emerged that AirPlay Mirroring will be possible in the upcoming iOS 5. Real Racing 2 HD will take this a step further:

This isn’t just mirroring – you’ll be able to play Real Racing 2 HD on your big screen without a cable, while your iPad 2 displays racing telemetry in real-time. No black borders, no wires – just iOS racing at its finest.

We see AirPlay as a real game-changer. It allows us to bring a fresh, never-before-seen level of freedom to Real Racing 2 HD. Combined with the precision steering and brilliant 3D visuals made possible by iPad 2′s phenomenal hardware, Real Racing 2 HD over AirPlay promises an experience you’ll have to play to believe.

I’m already a huge fan of AirPlay video and HDMI mirroring is pretty cool too. Putting AirPlay and Mirroring together sounds awesome to me. Even as someone who is not a big gamer at all, the possibilities here sound tremendous. iOS 5 can’t come out soon enough.

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iPad App Store Highlighting Great AirPlay-Enabled Apps

AirPlayEnabledApps

AirPlay is becoming more and more of a favorite iPad feature for me, as more and more iPad apps add support for it. While audio over AirPlay can be quite nice at times, it’s video streaming that makes AirPlay much more exciting for me.

I’ve used a good number of apps by now that support AirPlay video by now, but I’m always on the lookout for good apps that include this feature.

This week the iPad App Store Featured area is highlighting a new featured page titled ‘Great AirPlay-Enabled Apps‘ – and that’s just the sort of list I’m looking for. The listing currently shows just over 30 iPad apps. Some of the notable ones include: the TED app for the wonderful TED Talks, CNN App for iPad, IMDb Movies & TV, NPR for iPad, iMovie, PBS for iPad,and Fandango Movies.

Sadly, the page doesn’t indicate which apps supprt just AirPlay audio and which include video support. That would be good to know.

You can find the Great AirPlay-Enabled Apps listing by going to the Featured tab of the iPad App Store and the top featured area where the iPad app of the week and game of the week are shown. The new AirPlay section is one of the highlighted ones that rotate in the top area.

My most used AirPlay (video) enabled app is the excellent Squrl videos app. What’s yours?

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NASA App HD for iPad Now Supports AirPlay Video

NASAAppAirPlayVideo

AirPlay – and AirPlay video in particular – is one of my favorite new iPad and iOS features. NASA’s iPad app – NASA App HD – is one of my favorite family / education apps on the iPad.

So I’m happy to see that NASA App HD now supports AirPlay video. Now we can check out watch some of the great NASA videos on the big HD screen via the iPad.

I’m also very glad to see that the pace of apps adding AirPlay video support is starting to pick up a bit.

Here’s an App Store link for NASA App HD; it’s a free app.

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AirPlay Video Glitches – Anyone Else?

AirPlayVideo

AirPlay – and AirPlay video in particular – is one of my favorite new features on the iPad and iOS. Now that a nice handful of good apps support AirPlay video, I’ve found myself using the feature more and more – with apps like Squrl, ShowYou, TED, PBS and several others.

The only thing detracting from enjoying this feature right now is that its performance is very inconsistent for me of late. If I play a video with AirPlay, let it run all the way through, then don’t fire up a new video right away, then when I do start a new video audio only will play on the TV. The same thing happens often if I switch away from the app playing AirPlay video and return to it and restart the video (which stops automatically when you switch out of the playing app).

When this happens, I’ve found no consistent quick fix. I always have to go through an odd dance of quitting the app playing the video, changing the source on the TV away from Apple TV and returning to it, and powering the TV on and off. Sometimes just one of these will work, sometimes it has to be two of them and I’m never quite sure which order they need to be done in. Sometimes doing all of them still won’t get AirPlay video to play properly again.

This does not appear to be a connectivity issue, as audio continues to work. I’ve browsed and searched the Apple Discussion forums a couple times looking for advice on this issue – but so far I’ve seen nothing on it.

So … am I the only one seeing this problem? Anyone else seeing these glitches? If so, any clever suggested fixes?

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