Apple’s AirPlay feature for iOS 5 is pretty impressive. Without any cables, you are able to stream video and share your screen from your iOS device right to your big-screen TV or projector. The interface and connectivity itself may need a few touchups (hopefully through upcoming updates), but the implications of this software are promising. Here are five uses for AirPlay on iOS.
Gaming on the Big Screen
Let’s face it, playing a game by itself is only so much fun on a smaller screen. Since Apple introduced the Retina display, the idea of taking what you experience on the iPhone or iPod Touch and throwing it on an HDTV has become that much more appealing. Sure, you could accomplish this with a set of video cables on the dock connector, but that creates a barrier between your hand and the device. Try playing your game using AirPlay, and you may discover that the iPhone makes a great controller, especially when enjoying classic games made for old Sega and Nintendo controllers.
Further to that, games are being developed that utilize AirPlay’s full potential, giving you an added dimension to your gaming experience.
If you’ve ever intended a large meeting or conference, you’ve probably seen how many problems can spring up during a slideshow. The controller gets out of sync, the laptop doesn’t recognize the projector, and any number of issues can take place. By setting up AirPlay, you can control the presentation without needing to bother with cabling issues. Using a program like SlideShark, you’re able to play PowerPoint slideshows using AirPlay, without the need of a laptop.
Photo Slideshows and Music
Perhaps you’re celebrating an important anniversary or birthday, and you have decided to throw a party at your home, but don’t know quite what to put up on the television. You could add a touch of flare to the event by coordinating a photo slideshow on your iOS device and setting it to run using AirPlay. You could also easily share photos taken on the iPhone without having to bother with transferring the files back and forth and syncing your device to your friend’s computer. If they have an Apple TV, you’re good to go.
You could also set up your iOS device to play music without having to have a physical dock to connect to. This allows you to control the music from across the room, giving you the ability to change what’s playing at a moment’s notice, should the guest of honor make a special request.
Small meetings usually take place many times throughout the business day. A small or medium group of employees gather in a conference room to discuss their ongoing projects, and coordinate each member’s responsibilities as work progresses. Being able to demonstrate your progress without having to go through the trouble of disconnecting your laptop and hauling it in to the conference room is a big plus. Using AirPlay, you can pull up Web sites, and better explain your plan of action to the team. You also lose that psychological barrier a laptop screen places between you and other meeting attendees.
This could be one of the more common uses for AirPlay. Sure, you can watch Netflix from an Apple TV, but controlling the experience from the iPad and browsing for the next movie without interrupting the movie currently playing is pretty impressive. AirPlay gives you that ability. Haven’t you always wanted a remote that actually does something?