Apple TV, Continuity and Streaming
In preparation for next week’s Keynote I was looking for some spare time to rewatch both the Keynote and State of the Union. Coincidently I got sick a few days ago, so finding time to watch them both became easy all of the sudden. I wrongly remembered the WWDC presentations being available on the Apple TV but apparently, aside from the keynote, they don’t make any other presentations available via the Apple TV for registered developers. Weird.
I turned to the iPad and used AirPlay to project them both to my tv via the WWDC app. But halfway through the keynote I grabbed my iPad without thinking and looked up something they mentioned via Safari, which resulted in the movie being interrupted on the Apple TV a few moments later. If I want to stream WWDC movies on my TV, it means turning my iPad into a dedicated streaming device for a couple of hours. I thought that was what I bought the Apple TV for.
This experience got me thinking: shouldn’t this situation be solved already? If Safari can sync across devices, and movies streams are basically urls … Then why doesn’t the Apple TV support Continuity for video playing on iOS devices? Some kind of reverse AirPlay if you will?
I hope Apple expands Handoff in iOS 9 to include the Apple TV to solve this issue once and for all.
How would this work? Imagine you’re streaming a video on the iPad. When you start your Apple TV the home screen shows some kind of Continuity icon similar to what now happens on your other devices. Select the icon and the video stream transfers to the Apple TV, which then independently streams the movie. This way the device where you originally discovered the movie can be used for something different (or even be shut down) while the Apple TV streams the content.
There is some complexity involved for streams behind a paywall but I guess Apple should be able to figure this one out.