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Posts tagged with "airplay"

Beamer 3 Launches with New User Interface, Google Chromecast Support

Following a two month public beta period, Beamer 3 was released earlier this month. Beamer, a favorite of the MacStories team, is a Mac app that allows you to easily stream video (in almost any format) to your Apple TV via AirPlay. In Beamer 3, streaming support has expanded beyond AirPlay and it can now stream to Google Chromecast.

The user interface has also been redesigned in Beamer 3, and now fits in better with OS X Yosemite and El Capitan. The new UI isn't just prettier, it's also more useful because it provides easier access to audio track and subtitle controls. Another new feature enables you to skip to the next video in your Beamer queue by double clicking the play button the Apple Remote. All of the new features are listed here.

Beamer 3 is available for $19.99 for new customers, and existing Beamer customers can "pay what you want" to upgrade to Beamer 3. Beamer 3 requires OS X Yosemite or El Capitan.

Beamer 3 Public Beta Available Today: Features Chromecast Support and a New User Interface

Beamer, a favorite Mac app of the MacStories team, is today launching a public beta of their third major release. For those unfamiliar with the app, Beamer is a Mac app that enables you to easily stream video (in almost any format) to your Apple TV via AirPlay.

The tentpole new feature of Beamer 3 is that it can now stream videos to Google Chromecast. Beamer 3 also has a redesigned interface that looks better on OS X Yosemite and has improved functionality, making it easier to access key options such as audio tracks and subtitles. You can also skip to the next video in your Beamer queue by double clicking the play button the Apple Remote. Beamer's developer also plans to implement further improvements during the beta period.

Beamer 3 is a free upgrade for existing Beamer 2 customers. During the beta period, new customers can purchase Beamer 3 for $15, discounted from the standard price of $19.99.

Peer-to-Peer AirPlay in iOS 8

From Apple's Enterprise webpage for iOS 8:

With iOS 8, you can wirelessly connect iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to Apple TV without first connecting to the organization’s network. Which means you can present or share your work even if you’re offline or the organization has a complex network.

AirPlay with no network connection will make it easier to beam presentations (and games) wirelessly to an Apple TV when you can't connect to the Internet. Apple allowed Bluetooth-based setups for Apple TVs last year, and it's good to see them extending AirPlay's capabilities to make it more ubiquitous.


Infuse 2

Speaking of the Apple TV, the app I used to stream movies to my television wirelessly was Infuse. Developed by FireCore, Infuse is a good-looking video player with support for multiple formats, Dolby Digital Plus sound, integration with the TheMovieDB and TheTVDB for metadata, and AirPlay.

I wasn't interested in features like trakt, social sharing, or subtitles – I just wanted an easy way to stream videos from my iPad to the Apple TV without loss in terms of quality and smoothness. I downloaded Infuse, connected the iPad to my Mac (my movies are on an external drive), and used iTunes' file manager to drop files into Infuse. Seconds after the copy was finished, Infuse would see the video, collect metadata, and display a gorgeous artwork preview with cast information and technical details on the file.

To stream videos with AirPlay, you need to unlock the $4.99 “Infuse Pro” In-App Purchase, which I bought immediately and didn't regret. I gave Infuse various formats including MKV and AVI at both 720p and 1080p and streaming to my second-gen Apple TV was always smooth and fast.

I'm impressed by Infuse because, once it had my videos, it didn't require me to fiddle with any setting or file conversion – it just worked with AirPlay and videos looked great. Infuse is free on the App Store and you can read more about supported formats (for video, audio tracks, and subtitles) here.


The Untapped Potential Of Dual Screen AirPlay Games & Apps

What do you know about Dual Screen AirPlay games? Chances are, you don't know much about it and might not even know what on earth I'm talking about. It's a feature of AirPlay - the protocol that allows iOS devices to stream audio and video to an Apple TV. More specifically, Dual Screen AirPlay is the ability for app developers to use a connected Apple TV as a secondary screen, displaying different content on the TV as to what is on the iOS device. In theory it's an awesome feature that has significant potential. In reality there haven't been many examples of its implementation, let alone many that did so in a unique and exciting way.

So today I look at where Dual Screen AirPlay has been used, focusing on games in particular and then look to why it hasn't been as widely deployed. I'll also touch upon the problems with its implementation, where it could be improved and lastly a brief discussion on its potential in video apps as well.

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Mountain Lion is Coming Next Month: Here’s What We Know

While Apple's Mountain Lion has been coolly waiting for its chance to pounce on Apple's website, Craig Federighi announced at WWDC 2012's opening Keynote that the next big cat will be available next month (no specific date given) for only $19.99 from the Mac App Store.

“With iCloud built right in and the new Notification Center, Messages, Dictation, Facebook integration and more, this is the best OS X yet.”

Mountain Lion brings OS X closer to iCloud thanks to a community of integrated apps and services that allow for seamless syncing of Mail, Notes, Reminders, Calendar events, Contacts, and Messages. In addition to these iCloud enabled apps and services (which we've long been familiar with), Apple is introducing Documents in the Cloud.

Documents in the Cloud is a new feature that integrates with Apple's iWork suite and enabled third party apps to bring you documents that are stored in iCloud. In his demo, Federighi opened Pages which brought an iCloud-based document library. In Mountain Lion, Documents in the Cloud is enabled for Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Preview and TextEdit. The new document library browser provides a simple way to access recent documents no matter which device you access them from. Apple will be making available an SDK so developers can use this feature for their own apps.

Game Center, a brand new Safari with a unified search field, and AirPlay mirroring, and greater accessibility for China were also shown off. AirPlay mirroring lets you send up to a 1080p quality secure video stream or an audio stream to an AirPlay receiver as iOS devices can.

While we're talking about applications, I should take the opportunity to say that Gatekeeper on the Mac is completely user controlled. Outed as a feature that protects you from bad guys (my words), users can decide whether or not to trust 3rd party applications from outside the Mac App Store. Gatekeeper itself will check for security updates in the background, and it provides kernel ASLR for protection against buffer overflow attacks. Overall, it's a solid security update.

Mountain Lion itself has something aesthetic changes — a brand new glass dock is seated at the bottom of the display, and the Notification Center icon has changed from its preliminary circle to an icon representing a list of items in the menubar.

Notification Center received plenty of airtime, with service integration being demonstrated on stage. Notification Center is reminiscent of Growl, with banners sliding down from the upper right corner. Alerts stay on screen until you dismiss them, and additionally there's an on / off switch for showing notifications. Notification Center is smart too — when connected to a project, the Notification Center will automatically shut off.

Given that you could dictate in iOS 5, it's only right that the feature makes its way onto the Mac. Dictation really needs no explanation: "Anywhere you can type, you can now talk."

Sharing in Mountain Lion is prevalent, with Twitter being used as the first example. Just like in iOS, a cute tweet sheet pops up that lets you quickly jot down your thoughts and send it off to share with your followers. Additionally, Facebook integration in OS X brings your friends and contacts closer than ever. Integrated in Mountain Lion just like with iOS 6, a single sign-in gives you access to share across a bevy of services including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Vimeo. Facebook sharing lets you post to your wall, reply to a comment from an update displayed through the Notification Center, and directly update your Contacts with your friend's information. To expound upon Notification Center, it displays updates from Twitter as well (for example, when someone mentions you in a tweet).

Power Nap is a feature we haven't heard of before, letting your MacBook Pro with Retina Display or 2nd Gen (and above) MacBook Air receive data while it sleeps. All of the information you care about will be updated even before you open the lid — contacts, calendar events, emails, and other iCloud enabled services such as Find my Mac will work without user intervention. Even more amazing, your MacBook will be able to back up to Time Machine while in its Power Nap state. Supposedly, expected battery life should be maintained even when your MacBook is sipping power and downloading data while it's asleep.

Customers who purchase one of Apple's new MacBook Airs or MacBook Pros after June 11th will get a free update to Mountain Lion when it ships. Existing customers will be able to download it next month from the MAS. Today's demo expounded what we already know, showcasing the rigidity of iCloud and new concepts that extends the Mac as an always active, lifestyle device. Mountain Lion's integration with iCloud runs deep, and with over 1700 APIs available for developers, it's a great release for developers and consumers alike.

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Kickstarter: The playGo AP1 AirPlay and DLNA Wireless Receiver

If you want an AirPlay receiver on the cheap, you can't go wrong with Apple's AirPort Express, a $99 dollar portable wireless access point (great for an apartment or traveling business person) that has a 3.5mm minijack for an audio or optical connection to a pair of speakers or your home receiver. For another hundred bucks (as a part of being an early adopter), you could fair even better with playGo's audio-centric playGo AP1: an AirPlay and DLNA receiver that can output lossless audio through analog RCA outputs, a 3.5mm minijack, or TOSLINK to your preferred thumpers of choice.
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Mirroring Multiple iOS Devices To A Mac: Comparing AirServer and Reflection

In my review of AirFoil Speakers Touch 3.0, I wrote about AirPlay:

Ever since developers started reverse-engineering the AirPlay protocol that Apple introduced with iOS 4.2 in November 2010, we have seen all kinds of possible implementations of Apple’s streaming technology being ported to a variety of devices, for multiple purposes and scenarios. From tools to turn Macs into AirPlay receivers for audio, video, iOS Mirroring sessions, then a combination of all them, to more or less Apple-approved “AirPlay audio receivers” sold in the App Store, then pulled, then released in Cydia, the past two years have surely been interesting for AirPlay.

The past few months have indeed seen a surge of AirPlay-compatible desktop utilities and apps that take advantage of Apple's technology for audio and video streaming. From games enhanced with AirPlay to enable new controls and interactions, to several desktop utilities that are now connecting Macs and Apple TVs with AirPlay, there's plenty of options out there to beam images and audio to devices running iOS or OS X.

AirServer was one of the first applications to bring proper AirPlay support to the Mac, initially only with audio and video, then iOS 5 and Lion, and, around the time Reflection also came out, AirPlay Mirroring. Recently, the AirServer team made some major changes to the way AirServer handles AirPlay Mirroring (our overview) on OS X with multiple iOS devices, so I thought it'd be appropriate to give the app a second try. At the same time, I figured I hadn't used Reflection much since it came out two months ago; I installed both the latest AirServer and Reflection on my iMac and MacBook Air, and tested multiple iOS devices with AirPlay Mirroring enabled at the same time. Read more