Back in November of last year, Apple released iOS 4.2. Along with that release came support for Airplay on both Apple TV and iPhone. Unfortunately, the Airplay experience was only half-baked, not yet allowing the streaming of your photos or self created videos to the Apple TV.
Well, last week saw the launch of iOS 4.3, and along with that, some much needed improvements to Airplay--most notably, the ability to play videos from the Photos app! This includes the Camera Roll album, iTunes previews, and enabled third-party apps and websites on Apple TV. Basically, Apple is finally delivering the Airplay that I was expecting all along.
The other night I was at a friend's house. We were watching his Apple TV so I decided to see if I could take it over and start streaming from my iPhone. I browsed to the Camera Roll, and then clicked on the Airplay icon. Instantly, my photo took over his television screen. Next, I clicked on a video in the Camera Roll, and immediately my video started streaming on his television.
As I mentioned in my previous article on the subject, the Airplay functionality is one of the main reasons I purchased the new Apple TV. Now that iOS 4.3 is finally delivering the experience Apple promised back in November, the Apple TV has moved to my "highly recommended" list. For $99, you can't beat the price for the functionality. I know that Roku and others offer more functionality in what is arguably a less expensive offering, but if you have an iPhone, nothing compares to the experience of wirelessly streaming your videos and photos to your TV by simply clicking an on-screen button.
UPDATE: It looks like Apple is making it even easier for you to find Airplay-enabled apps. Click on this link for an ever expanding list.