BBC launches iPhone iPlayer app in the UK, adds 3G streaming to its mobile site

While international viewers have had around a week to play with the new dedicated iPhone app, the Beeb has finally launched its iPlayer in its native UK. Replacing the browser-based player of old, it now allows you to stream both radio and TV shows through a 3G connection. The new app also adds HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) which allows itself to tweak the stream quality depending on your signal strength and hopefully allowing you to catch up on Top Gear uninterrupted. Like its overseas version, the new iOS app also throws in AirPlay streaming to Apple TV. Android and Symbian fans shouldn’t feel too overlooked; The BBC are promising to enable 3G to all compatible devices through its mobile web version very soon, with a dedicated 3G-friendly Android app being primed for the new year.

[Thanks Michael]

BBC launches iPhone iPlayer app in the UK, adds 3G streaming to its mobile site originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Dec 2011 07:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple reportedly stepping up its connectivity game, wants to be the center of your wireless universe

Apple is purportedly readying a new certification chip for accessory makers that will allow wireless access and connectivity to that pile of iOS devices you’re hoarding. Announced during an accessory manufacturer’s conference in China, the new chip could possibly allow connections across AirPlay, Bluetooth and WiFi. The Cupertino crew hope that this will encourage even more iOS-friendly add-ons and docks to market. According to Macotakara, Apple apparently added that it’s working on support for AirPlay over Bluetooth, presumably bringing with it some improved battery longevity, and tying into the new low-powered Bluetooth 4.0 found on the iPhone 4S. Well, you know us, we always love seeing new iPad accessories.

Update: An anonymous attendee has got in touch to tell us that the authentication chip is low-cost and faster update that doesn’t bring any new features not already seen on current chips. Our mole added that Apple didn’t directly announce any plans to extend AirPlay functionality to Bluetooth.

Apple reportedly stepping up its connectivity game, wants to be the center of your wireless universe originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Dec 2011 13:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iHome iW1 AirPlay wireless audio system finally available now, again, sort of

Remember back to September 26th when iHome’s iW1 AirPlay speaker was supposed to be available? Curiously, the company’s website continually listed the $300 system as “coming soon” (at least the times we checked), leaving iOS and iTunes users yearning for this cable-free audio ware in the proverbial dust. Now, a full month later, iHome has again announced the release of this flagship wireless speaker, even though it’s still out of stock itself. According to the company, a quick trip to an Apple Store, Best Buy or Crutchfield should let you snag one, although, the latter’s site won’t have any until November 3rd. Here’s to hunting — and waiting for the smaller iW2 and iW3 units to get proper release dates. Full details in the press release after the break.

Continue reading iHome iW1 AirPlay wireless audio system finally available now, again, sort of

iHome iW1 AirPlay wireless audio system finally available now, again, sort of originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 22:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Boxee updates iPad app to version 1.2, adds global Spotify support

It’s only been a couple of months since Boxee unleashed its much anticipated iPad app, but the company has already come out with that much needed update to version 1.2. With the upgrade, users will be able to navigate across content sent to their Boxee Boxes using a remote control interface that’s now located at the bottom right corner of the app. iPad owners can also pause video sent to their Box and pick up later where they left off, using the Boxee Media Manager. And, as expected, AirPlay sessions can now run in the background, giving you one less thing to worry about while lazing on the couch. On a related note, Spotify users can now use Boxee to access their accounts from anywhere in the world (previously, access was only granted in countries where Spotify is available). To get your app up to speed, check out the coverage link, below.

Boxee updates iPad app to version 1.2, adds global Spotify support originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 17:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How Apple Would Reinvent Your Big-Screen TV

Apple currently offers a set-top box called Apple TV, but it could have a television set in the works as well.

An Apple-branded big-screen TV: It’s the rumor that refuses to die.

The latest noise, fueled by a Bloomberg Businessweek article, is that former iTunes lead Jeff Robbin is heading up an Apple television project. This speculation is somewhat legitimized by a statement Steve Jobs shared with his official biographer, Walter Isaacson. Jobs said, “I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synched with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

But this is just the latest hubbub over a big-screen, living-room-dominating Apple TV. Since 2009, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has been speculating that Apple has a full-fledged TV in the works. Another analyst, Forrester’s James McQuivey, also strongly believes that Apple has directed resources toward TV development.

In a phone interview this September, he told, “I’m 100 percent convinced that the Apple TV rumor is true. I’m also convinced Apple may never bring this product to market. If we don’t see one, it’s because Apple is convinced it’s too broken a market to enter into.”

iSuppli principal analyst Randy Lawson basically agrees. He told us he thinks it’s likely that Apple has a television in the works, but it’s a long-term goal, and we probably won’t see it within the next 12 months.

But for now, let’s not worry about Apple’s practical hurdles. Let’s accept that a big-screen Apple TV is inevitable, and consider what Apple may deliver to the “connected TV” landscape, were it brave enough to accept the challenge.

Industry watchers see three key areas of innovation:

Integration With iCloud, iTunes and Other Apple Gear
iCloud seamlessly syncs content so that you can share it among your Apple devices, from iPhones to iPads to Apple computers. Currently, iCloud can be used to store TV shows, photographs and other media, but it’s not farfetched to imagine the service being used for movie storage in the future. iTunes could be enlisted as a purchasing platform, providing a new flow of revenue for Apple — always important when launching a new hardware product, particularly one that has a long shelf life, like a big-screen TV.

“The most important feature of an Apple-branded TV would be seamless integration and connection with other Apple products in the home,” DisplaySearch analyst Paul Gagnon says. Such integration would allow users to push content from one device to another. To this end, iPad mirroring (a feature made available with iPad 2), as well as AirPlay music or video streaming, would likely be an option with the TV set, as well.

“I think there are a lot of people with mobile devices who have content they want to watch on a big screen. So far, the process to get that on a larger television screen is convoluted,” Gagnon says. But using iTunes to access content, and iCloud to store it, would be a dead-easy solution — especially if Apple could partner with content providers to make movies and live content available.

“While a solution for live TV combined with previously aired shows ‘recorded’ in the cloud remains a significant hurdle, perhaps this code is precisely what Jobs believed he has ‘cracked.’” So wrote Piper Jaffray’s Munster in a note to clients this Monday.

A User-Friendly Interface — Care of Siri and Touch Control
“One clear frustration point that users have with TV sets is the huge, bulky, multi-keyed, IR-based, always-lost-can’t-find-it remote control, and the clunky, page- and table-based user guides that requires [you] to scroll through reams of pages just to find what they’re looking for,” iSuppli analyst Randy Lawson says.

Apple, of course, already has several tools in place to address Lawson’s user-experience nightmares. The first is Siri, which could drastically simplify content search and selection, thanks to its smart voice-recognition technology. You could toss that heinous remote in the trash, and instead direct your TV experience using voice commands:

“Siri, resume playing TRON: Legacy.”

“Siri, download the latest episode of Community.”

“Siri, pause YouTube and get me a beer.” (OK, that last one may not be entirely realistic.)

For those uncomfortable with barking commands at Siri, the iPhone and iPad could be used as elegant remote controllers. Virtual keyboards wouldn’t be too burdensome for content searches — we already use them every day — and Apple’s handheld devices could also be used as controllers for onscreen games (assuming the Apple TV runs iOS and provides access to the App Store). And perhaps the gyroscopes and accelerometers within iOS devices could be used for navigation, allowing us to tilt to scroll through menus or fast-forward through movie credits.

Currently, the app and game offerings on connected TVs and set-top boxes are quite meager. With iOS compatibility, App Store access and an improved user experience, we may actually want to use apps and games on our TVs. Because, you know, they wouldn’t suck.

A Unique Form Factor, Improved Audio and FaceTime
Would Apple’s smart TV look like every other set on the market? “I think it’d be shockingly different in terms of form factor,” Gagnon says. In general, Gagnon says, the TV would be high quality: LED backlit, with a high refresh rate and possibly Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in.

Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry believes that an Apple television set would be very similar to the Bose VideoWave HDTV, but even more simple. It would have a “spartan but elegant design sensibility,” he says, and would use a single cable (the VideoWave needs three). Chowdhry expects an Apple TV would be ultra thin, and would sport at least 16 speakers.

Lawson thinks audio quality would be an Apple TV trump card. In recent years, display quality has improved for most big-screen TVs, but because TVs are getting thinner, audio quality has suffered — or has at least remained stagnant. Lawson isn’t sure what solution Apple would come up with, but says “a robust audio solution would be a clear differentiating factor” for the company.

Lawson also thinks it’s likely that an Apple TV would include a camera for FaceTime video chatting. And that’s just the beginning of what Apple might do with a built-in camera. For example, a system that analyzes physical gestures, much like the Microsoft Kinect, would add another convenient way to interface with the TV.

Taming the Last ‘Untamed’ Room
The living room is the last “untamed” room in the home, Gagnon says. We can carry our laptops, iPhones and iPads to work and back, and from room to room, but our TV stays where it is, and for most of us, it’s only used in a very passive way.

But an Apple-branded TV could very well revitalize the way we “watch” TV and relax with our friends and family. A big-screen Apple TV would also be the next logical step for Apple in its quest to control our entertainment and content-consumption experiences. With a home entertainment ecosystem comprised entirely of Apple gear — a phone, tablet, computer, cloud network, and, yes, a TV — every device works seamlessly together, and looks good doing so.

Ask Engadget: best AirPlay speakers for travel?

We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget inquiry is coming to us from Christian, who seems to be into the idea of traveling sans wires. If you’re looking to send in an inquiry of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.

“I am looking for some AirPlay-enabled speakers that I can use to travel with. They should support 110 to 240 volt and have WiFi built-in so I don’t have to carry around an AP. Also, it would be cool if this WiFi could connect to the hotel network, if possible. Thanks!”

It’d also be cool if you share any relevant advice down in comments below. Cheers!

Ask Engadget: best AirPlay speakers for travel? originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 00:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BBC’s global iPlayer app adds AirPlay streaming, should just be on Apple TV

British expats and international fans of BBC television alike can now stream some Gavin & Stacey to their televisions (past season 1 anyway, which is on Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video), as long as they’re properly equipped. The global iPlayer app for iPad has been updated with AirPlay streaming (those in the UK however, have no such luck so far) so once users update to iOS 5 and buy an Apple TV box, they’re in business. Of course, this would all be much simpler if iPlayer were just available on the Apple TV itself (without XBMC or other hacks), but no one asked us, did they?

BBC’s global iPlayer app adds AirPlay streaming, should just be on Apple TV originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 02:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Missing Remote, @BBCiPlayerGLBL (Twitter)  |  sourceThe Digital Lifestyle, iTunes  | Email this | Comments

Audyssey’s Lower East Side Audio Dock Air: square to be cool

Not enamored by any upcoming AirPlay-enabled HiFi systems? Audyssey’s curiously square Lower East Side Audio Dock Air could be worth a shot. This is the second wireless speaker from the company, which last year used its audio know-how for the South of Market Bluetooth Dock. The LESADA’s light on features, but utilizes “Smart Speaker technology” to offer what Audyssey claims is best-in-class audio quality. The unit itself is loaded with two 1-inch tweeters, a duo of 3-inch midrange drivers and two thumping 4-inch passive bass radiators. Up top there’s a single volume wheel, while on the front and back you’ll find a headphone jack and a 3.5mm input (if you’d prefer the vintage experience of plugging in). The Lower East Side Audio Dock Air — in all its cubey goodness — is slated to hit shelves in November for about $400. Full PR past the break.

Continue reading Audyssey’s Lower East Side Audio Dock Air: square to be cool

Audyssey’s Lower East Side Audio Dock Air: square to be cool originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Box rides on iCloud’s coattails, offers 50GB of free cloud storage to iOS users

No, your eyes don’t deceive you — Box is offering 50GBs of free storage inside its cloud for iOS users — just like it did for TouchPad owners back in June. Anyone who downloads the latest version of Box’s app for iPad and iPhone will receive their massive lot for data storage after registering a personal account (existing accounts can join in on the fun as well). To make better use of that extra space, Box will also be bumping upload capacity from 25MB to 100MB per file and baking in AirPlay support. Look, Box is obviously skitching on iCloud’s tail, but it sure seems like a crazy good deal considering that space is yours “forever.” The promotion will last for 50 days, officially starting at 12AM on October 14th — although, we’re already seeing the update on our end. Full details in the source link.

Box rides on iCloud’s coattails, offers 50GB of free cloud storage to iOS users originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 13 Oct 2011 22:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple TV Update Adds Photo Stream, AirPlay Mirroring and… Hockey?

With iCloud, you can now watch angst-ridden but sexy vampires on any iDevice, anywhere

Amidst the deluge of software launches from Apple yesterday, it was easy to miss an update to the company’s “hobby,” the Apple TV. Version 4.4 of the set-top box’s OS is rather conservatively named, as it comes with many iOS 5 features.

AirPlay Mirroring

Before, you could stream video and audio content to the Apple TV from an iOS device via AirPlay. Now, with the iPad 2, the Apple TV supports AirPlay Mirroring, which lets you mirror the entire screen of the iPad 2 on the TV connected to the Apple TV.

Photo Stream

The Apple TV now acts like any other iOS device, and any photos added to your Photo Stream on an iPad, iPhone, iPod, Mac or PC will be pushed to the Apple TV. Smart, as a big screen is a great place to share photos. The Apple TV will keep only the latest 1,000 snaps you have taken.


You can now browse and watch movie trailers, just like you could do in Front Row all those months ago. Tip: if you don’t have an Apple TV, and use the U.S App Store, you can grab the free Trailers app for your iOS device.


What’s to say? Live streaming of mullets and fights joins baseball and basketball on the big screen.

WSJ Live

Watch the streaming WSJ Live channel on the big screen, just as if you were watching regular TV.

There are also bug fixes and small additions (extra slideshow transitions), but the big thing is probably the integration of iCloud. The Apple TV already lets you stream previously-bought content. Now it has Photo Stream, and when iTunes Match launches later this year, the promise of no longer needing a computer at all will come a little bit closer.

Apple TV product page [Apple]

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