The most intriguing feature of iOS 5 is AirPlay Mirroring, as it transports everything on your iPad to your TV wirelessly. All you need is an Apple TV as the middle man, and you can stream all of your iPad apps on the big screen. We checked out the feature with the first beta of iOS 5, but a lot has changed since June. Apple is now up to the sixth beta with many small changes along the way. We wanted to find out if AirPlay Mirroring has improved in that time, and the video below shows a resounding yes.
The most important thing to note is that developers have not updated their apps in any way to work with AirPlay Mirroring. Currently there are a few apps with HDMI out support so you can enter a special full screen mode as you transfer the iPad screen to the TV via a cable. The full screen modes automatically works wirelessly with AirPlay Mirroring, and should work even better once developers update their apps for the technology. Real Racing 2 HD is the most graphically impressive game for the iPad, and with beta 1 it was stuttering from time to time. Now with beta 6, I was able to complete an entire race without one slow down. It’s such a great experience using the iPad as the steering wheel, and watching the action on the TV.
The full screen modes give you a special control interface on the iPad screen, and sends the app graphics in HD to your TV. It’s also interesting that iPhone only apps with no iPad native app still work with full screen support via AirPlay Mirroring. We played Touchgrind BMX, which is only for iPhone/iPod Touch, and yet the full screen mode was instantly recognized. You get to control the bike on the iPad with all the action sent to the TV in HD even though you’re running the app in 2x mode on the iPad. There are also apps like Mega Jump which let you use an iPhone/iPod Touch as a controller, and an iPad as the display. AirPlay Mirroring send the iPad display up to the TV, again with no iPad native app.
AirPlay Mirroring also sends the audio so all the sound comes out of the TV, and not on the iPad. Beta 6 has made a big difference so everything is practically simultaneous, and this will only get better when developers tweak their apps for AirPlay Mirroring. The regular iPad apps with no full screen support work really great, because there’s even less to transfer without 720P HD graphics. The ABC Player video streaming app was a great example as you can see a show playing on both the iPad and TV at the same exact frame with no slow downs at all. There are also full screen hdmi out support video apps like AirVideo which lets you AirPlay all of your video files, and not just the one Apple’s stock videos app supports.
The feature is simply amazing to use, and redefines not only iPad gaming, but gaming as a whole. It’s already great in iOS 5 Beta 6, and when iOS 5 public release hits in the fall, it’s almost beyond imagination. Just think about all your favorite games and apps with built in full screen support for AirPlay Mirroring. In the mean time, enjoy the video below.
The video includes the following apps that have HDMI out built-in (in order of appearance): Uzu, Real Racing 2 HD, Touchgrind BMX, Pinball HD, Rage, and Mega Jump. Also shown are Pulse, ABC Player, Mighty Fin, and Fruit Ninja HD.