We’ve been testing out AirPlay Mirroring since June, and now it’s officially available as part of iOS 5. The feature works with the iPad 2 or iPhone 4S along with the Apple TV, and lets you stream anything on your screen wirelessly up to your HDTV. Currently, there is AirPlay which has been limited to video and audio, but now you can stream any app, so the Apple TV now has apps in a round about way. You can control everything right on your iOS device, and then get to see it full screen on your TV. The apps automatically work in 4:3 mode with letterbox on the side, unless developers have added a special mode for full 720P mirroring.
To enable AirPlay Mirroring on the iPad 2, you simply open the multi-tasking bar, and scroll to the left. Then you tap the AirPlay button, and then tap your AppleTV, and switch on Mirroring. On the iPhone 4S, you have to swipe to the left twice to find the AirPlay option, and then you have the same taps to enable. Once it’s enabled, there is a blue bar at the top showing you’re in AirPlay Mirroring mode, and then you can launch any app on your device. Everything that is on your iPhone 4S or iPad 2 screen are streamed live to your Apple TV, and you can control all of the action on your iOS device.
It’s great showing off presentations, educational apps, books, and games up on your HDTV. It always seemed like there would be too much going on to stream live fast action games wirelessly, but the A5 chip does most of the work. Games like Infinity Blade, Shadowgun, and Dark Meadow run without a hitch in real time simultaneously between your iOS device screen and your HDTV. The most interesting aspect is taking advantage of the apps with special Mirroring modes like Solar Walk, Real Racing 2, and Djay among others.
In the special Mirroring modes you get a special control mode on your iOS device, and all of the app visuals go to the TV. With regular apps the same thing is shown on the iOS device and TV, but with developers taking advantage of Mirroring, there’s 720P HD footage on the TV without the same thing being broadcast on your iPhone or iPad. AirPlay Mirroring has so much potential, and it’s the most ground breaking feature of iOS 5, with the rest of the great features but all taking cues from elsewhere. AirPlay Mirroring is truly unique to Apple, and it changes home entertainment completely. The iPhone 4S and iPad 2 along with the Apple TV create a console gaming environment, and then you can still take them everywhere.
The potential uses in business, education, and medicine are great as well, and it’s all in the hand of developers. AirPlay Mirroring is effortless, and as smooth as can be, and the only feature in iOS 5 that takes the platform to a whole new level.
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