September 2, 2010
According to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, the Apple TV is running some form of iOS and I believe he's right. Unfortunately, it doesn't come, as rumored, with an App Store. That means, you won't be able to run something like a Hulu app on it to get free TV shows. Yet, I have a feeling Apple might be planning something just as good, TV-out over AirPlay. If you watched the event, you can see Steve connecting his iPad to the Apple TV at one point to stream a movie. He also mentions that you'll be able to wirelessly link your iPhone to the setup to stream your pictures as a slideshow. Basically, AirPlay allows iOS apps to stream almost anything over Wi-Fi to an Apple TV. And, if Apple does makes that feature available to developers, it will open endless possibilities to bring apps your TV, just as we wanted. For example, many apps allow you to output their screen to a TV using a special cable (like Netflix or Air Video). If Apple allowed developers to do the same thing over AirPlay, we might see apps like Hulu or ABC Player be able to provide content to your TV as well, but via your iDevice. Furthermore, we could imagine a game that outputs the video to your Apple TV while turning your iPhone into a controller. It's powerful enough to do it, and as long as latency can be kept down, it would be great. All this leads me to believe that AirPlay might actually turn out bigger than it first appeared. What do you think?