We've criticized the new Apple TV for its lack of streaming-media services, but we've always held out hope that AirPlay would bring the additional functionality we wanted. Today, Apple released the new 4.2 iOS update and an Apple TV update, which enables AirPlay functionality. We've had some time to play with it, and though it doesn't fully deliver on its promise yet, it's on its way to being one of the best features of the Apple TV.
What is AirPlay and how it works The idea behind AirPlay is "pushing" content from an iOS device to your Apple TV, so you can watch on the big screen. It's designed to work with music, photos, and videos, although the video functionality is limited for now.
"Pushing" content to an Apple TV couldn't get much easier. You'll need an Apple TV with the latest software update and an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad running the new iOS 4.2 software, and they both need to be on the same home network.
Start playing back a media file, such as a song stored on your iPod, and next to the volume slider will be a "push" icon, which looks like a box and an arrow pointed up. You'll see another screen that let's you select your Apple TV and once you hit that, the content playback on your TV.
That's it. There's a very slight lag before it starts playing on your Apple TV, but otherwise it works exactly how you'd expect.
What's AirPlay compatible right now?… Read more