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With iOS + AirPlay, the AppleTV doesn't NEED an app store...here's why.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by drewc1138, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Imagine with me on this.

    I was originally pretty let down that there wasn't an app store associated with the release of the new AppleTV. My dreams of Hulu Plus or MLB At Bat or some variation of Angry Birds and whatever other apps out there running on my nice big flatscreen were dashed when I saw that it was essentially the same software running on a new box. I said several times that I thought that Apple missed a HUGE opportunity by not putting an app store on the device. But as I let it sink in, the more I think that running apps on the AppleTV still an option. How?

    AirPlay. What if Apple started including AirPlay API's in the iOS SDK?

    Imagine this...

    You're watching reruns of Arrested Development on Hulu Plus on your iPad, and you walk into your living room, hit the AirPlay button, and it's streaming on your TV.

    Or you're reading a comic book from Marvel or Comics+ or whatever other app you prefer. Hit AirPlay, and you're reading your comics on your TV, using gestures on your iDevice to flip through the pages, and pinch to zoom.

    Or your favorite baseball team is playing, but the game is not showing in your area, so you pull up MLB At Bat on your iPad, stream the game to your TV, and the iPad still shows all the stats of the game.

    Or (here's my favorite one) you're playing Star Wars: Trench Run on your iPhone. You hit the AirPlay button in the app, and, boom, you're racing down the Death Star trench on your big screen while using the iPhone as a controller. (SW:TR already does this on a computer, to a less elegant degree.) Taking it to the next level, you also have your iPad there next you, and you use it to control speed, shields, your ship's power settings...

    What do ya'll think? Has this idea already been out there and I just missed the boat on it?
  2. macrumors P6


    Do you really think that WiFi networks are good enough for gaming like the Star Wars thing? The latency will make it hard to play.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Your lips to Steve's ears.
  4. macrumors 6502

    If a wifi network can handle an HD movie, surely it can handle a game. And I haven't noticed much latency in the Star Wars game...though I haven't played a whole lot.
  5. macrumors 65816


    I've seen a few people here wondering if FaceTime would be on the aTV with some sort of webcam attachment. I think it's a lot more likely that the webcam stays in your iPhone/iPod and can be passed around, but that maybe the video could be "AirPlayed" to your aTV so the whole family could watch the chat. Anyone else think this would be possible?
  6. macrumors P6


    An HD movie is easy to stream over WiFi. But playing a game isn't. Example: You see a TIE fighter on the screen, you push the Fire button, by the time you see the laser bolt from your X-Wing the TIE has moved a good distance, you then move your X-Wing and try to hit him again, same problem. This is latency, and you will encounter lots of it trying to play games with the AirPlay stuff.

    Of course there would be little to no latency when playing the game using the iPhone's screen. That's what it was designed to be played on.
  7. macrumors 68040

    I agree. Wifi has far too much latency. Just use te Remote app with the Apple TV. It sometimes doesn't register for 10 to 20 seconds after pressing an action, very inconsistent. Wish they used Bluetooth.
  8. macrumors 68020


    This is exactly the theory that I proposed in May and revived when the new AppleTV was unveiled:

    tv: How AirPlay will brings Apps to your TV

    I'm glas to see other people beginning to figure it out also.

    We don't need yet another version of our apps. What is needed is to display appropriate content from existing iOS apps on your big screen.

    I believe we'll see it in WWDC 2010 in the form of an API. iOS 5 will be about conquering the living room.
  9. macrumors 6502

    I recognize that. But at the same time, I can play Halo with someone on the other side of the world, and latency isn't a problem (so long as the internet connection is decent).

    And who knows how it could be implemented. Maybe once you've downloaded an app, it automatically syncs the necessary app with the AppleTV, so all you're doing is controlling the movements and the machine itself is handling the processing power, just like a normal console.
  10. macrumors 68000

    Why would I want to have my iPhone/iPad on with a persistent network connection that will drain the battery just so I can watch an app on my TV? I'd really hate to get ready to leave the house for a night on the town only to find my iPhone battery dead from streaming Hulu content to my AppleTV.

    I could see the iPhone/iPad acting as a remote input device, but forcing users to stream all their apps just doesn't make sense IMO. I'm still holding out that we'll learn the new AppleTV has a sizable amount of onboard Flash that Apple can eventually take advantage of.
  11. macrumors P6


    That would be because Halo and other console games where designed for Internet play. Most iPhone apps where not. Those few that where, example: Eliminate, don't work well on slower connections or on a busy WiFi network. Also remember, Halo doesn't send the whole screen image to the other person, it sends a text based game change stream that instructs the other Xbox on how to move the other human players. The Airplay thing will have to send the whole screen image to the Apple TV.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Man...it sounds like I plagarized your stuff, but I PROMISE I didn't.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Did you not see the second paragraph of my post...the one you conveniently didn't quote? ;)
  14. macrumors P6


    It wasn't quoted for a reason. But if you insist.

    Would you be willing to wait for a 20-70Mb to transfer from your iPhone to your Apple TV over WiFi? For some people this could take a long time. This waiting is not what Apple wants. It could make the end users no want to play the game due to the long loading times.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    It's called streaming and Sony does it between the PSP and PS3 on only 802.11b...the Ipad, Iphone 4, Itouch 4 and Apple TV all have 802.11N.

    Airplay is gonna rock!
  16. macrumors P6


    Then Apple must have found out a way to do it without licensing the tech or patents from Sony. As I hardly think Sony would allow Apple to use any of their stuff that could interfere with Sony's gaming systems.
  17. macrumors regular


    And having just seen that in the UK there's a fairly serious competitor being launched next year (http://www.youview.com/), I think you're absolutely right to believe that iOS 5 will be all about releasing the power of apps, of many kinds, onto the TV screen. I'm assuming now that the BBC won't be giving Apple the power to stream directly to the Apple TV, but if Apple allow Airplay APIs out of the bag, or allow Safari to be streamed, we get what we want (assuming that the quality is good enough - I don't really get this aspect).

    I understand why people say that games will be difficult, but that's just the fast-moving stuff (which I don't play - I can't even get round a track on any of the racing games I've got!). But there's plenty of stuff already available which would work well on the bigger screen... Scrabble or Monopoly, anyone?

    It's going to be an interesting next few months. I need to get saving up for whatever toys I 'need' next year. What with iPad 2, Apple TV, Youview, maybe a new MBP (my 3 year old Macbook doesn't do it for me any more) and presumably iP5, it could get expensive!


  18. macrumors 6502a

    Man you are right...I am down for a AppleTV (already got one ordered) a IP5 and IPad 2. If they made a i7 based Imac with a 27 inch touch screen, I would look at that too...
  19. macrumors 6502

    Not to rain on your theory (or iPedro's) but just because apps weren't announced yet doesn't mean they aren't coming. In fact alot of tech people still believe that it will happen. I for one agree, if not for the simple reason that the new ATV apparently only looks like the same old OS. All the tech articles I am reading say that iOS (or a variant) is likely running on the new ATV since it has the A4 processor. Just because it won't have touch screen capabilities some people think it cannot be iOS under the hood, but the touch interface is only one layer of the OS. It can exist in a traditional form, and I think that it does.

    So, I think Apple sees the benefit to apps in the livingroom, and the app paradigm coupled with airplay are going to make a huge difference.
  20. macrumors member

    Input lag could be prohibitive. It's already an issue with consoles and Plasma Tv's. Adding an extra step in the chain will one way or the other add lag. Considering there is a minmum time data needs to travel and being processed by each component of the chain.
    The PSP is a dedicated handheld streaming to the PS3 which has quite a lot more horsepower than an ATV. I'm rather skeptical if the iPad/iPhone ->Atv is as capable. It's not primarily designed for gaming.. horses for courses :)

    Note that Input lag does not equal online latency.
  21. macrumors regular

    9to5mac just posted a similar article on this topic today. And I think 9to5 and the OP are totally right. When the new Apple TV was announced I nerdraged with the others complaining about the huge opportunity Apple missed by not making essentially an iPad for the TV. But the idea that you'll stream content--Internet, songs/videos, and apps--froman iPad/iPhone/itouch to a low-cost peripheral box (Apple TV) is smart from a marketing standpoint.

    This question may be suitable for the app forum, but how difficult do you think it would be to design your app so it can quickly change configurations from 4" viewing (or whatever the iPhone screen size is) to 52" television viewing? Presumably not too difficult since this is what Apple is toting videos
    stored on the iPhone will have the capability to do via airplay. Right?

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