Wednesday, January 19, 2011

AirView lets you stream content between iOS devices; app is one small step towards total streaming of content

Little apps like AirView get me really excited. Yes, I know, I'm sick but hear me out as this will all get a little techie:
A buggy new app called AirView allows you stream videos from one iOS device to another. Yes, it's a small thing, after all, you have to have either a couple iOS devices or at least a Mac and an iPhone or iPad. (The photo at right shows video streaming to an iPad from a Mac.)

Well, I think these little apps are a big deal because they show us the future of these mobile devices and where Apple and other OS developers want to take the platform -- and hence, where alert media developers will take their apps.

With AirView you can take a video that you have on your iPhone, say a YouTube video, and by turning on AirView on your iPad you can steam the content from your iPhone to your iPad.

Unfortunately, AirView is a bit buggy, it worked great for me at first, then I ran into a few problems. But the point is that soon more and more apps will have the ability to stream its contents from device to device, or from a device to your television (assuming you have all the apps, etc. etc.)

Suddenly, your newspaper or magazine app with a photo slideshow can be seen on your reader's television for better viewing, as might your video podcast and other video content. I find that streaming technology like this has great potential, though I know we are still years (not months) away from it being fully developed and utilized.

The good news is that some of the parts needed to create this new streaming environment will come together this year. One of the biggest might be those Hotspots mentioned in the Verizon iPhone introduction because in order to stream from one device to another you have to be on the same network. The easiest way to do this in the wild -- rather than in your own living room or office -- is to create a WiFi hotspot with one device and have the other device connect to it. Now you are on the same network and can start streaming content. Another major step will occur with the next update of iOS. iOS 4.3 will open up AirPlay to third party developers. You are sure to see another wave of app updates as developers add AirPlay to their apps.