Published July 28, 2012
Apple released its new Mountain Lion operating system this week. There are several great features but what I think is by far the most game changing of all is AirPlay Mirroring.
I'm not being hyperbolic here. This is a big deal.
AirPlay Mirroring lets you play whatever is on your Mac screen on your TV. Think of the possibilities! This isn't new for iPads and iPhones but it is new for the desktop Mac and MacBooks.
We use this in my house a lot, in fact. Want to watch a video, stream a show, look at the days' photos? We can all watch whatever is on one person's iPad on the living room TV. Having this work from Macs is even more cool because we can watch streamed video from the Web.
A few years ago I attached my computer to my television via a janky setup with cords, cables and some other stuff I can't even remember. It was a pain and it looked terrible.
Now with AirPlay Mirroring there are no more cables and cords, instead your home Wi-Fi network becomes the pipeline to your TV. All you need is a $99 Apple TV as the go-between.
One reason AirPlay Mirroring is such a big deal is because it cuts the challenge down to just one click.
When I sit on the couch the last thing I want to do plug my laptop into some cable, resize my screen, hit play, and then watch as this choppy video starts barely playing on my TV. Now when I'm watching a Hulu video I can hit one button and watch it automatically stream to my TV. And Apple has figured out a way to resize the display settings automatically so you don't have to worry about it every time you want to watch a video. It's remarkable.
Another reason this is a game changer is because Hollywood can't get its greedy hands on our laptops. Sure ABC can keep me from watching 'Modern Family' on my iPad because they don't put it in the Hulu Plus app. But they can't keep me from watching it on ABC.com and Mirroring it to my television. The same goes for HBO, now I can go to HBOGO.com and Mirror 'Game of Thrones' to my TV when I can't do the same thing using the HBO Go app on my iPad. And list goes on and on.
With AirPlay Mirroring Apple is subtly showing content creators that we just want to watch their stuff, and we want to watch it wherever and whenever we want.