Apple tells MFI’s to get busy building next-gen iOS accessories with Airplay over Bluetooth 4.0

AirPlay, a proprietary protocol by Apple allowing for worry-free wireless streaming of audio, video, photos and related metadata between certified devices, is about to gain an enhanced support for the wireless Bluetooth standard via a new chip, Japanese blog Macotakara has learned. Apple apparently announced the new certification chip at a Shenzen, China conference organized for two thousand members of their MFI (Made For iPhone/iPad/iPod) program. The company is aiming to expand the market for wireless iOS accessories by a factor of seven by taking the IAP via Bluetooth (iPod Accessory Protocol) – first implemented in iOS 5 – to the Bluetooth 4.0 heights.

The new piece of silicon will enable future wireless accessories certified for use with the iPod, iPhone or iPad to stream content to and from a host iOS device using Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, in addition to WiFi AirPlay support. AirPlay over Bluetooth mitigates the need to connect to a WiFi network when AirPlaying your music, photos and movies. This feature comes into play when traveling, for example, or using your device in areas with no WiFi connectivity.

AirPlay already features a limited support for Bluetooth in that it can stream audio using the AD2P protocol. Apple has become a member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group board of directors back in June so they’re in a position to influence the development of the Bluetooth wireless standard.

Taking into account that Macotakara has had its share of misses in the past, this development really makes sense. iPhone 4S is the first handheld device from Apple to feature support for the new Bluetooth 4.0 wireless standard. It lets the handset connect to the mid-2011 MacBook Airs and Mac minis and future Bluetooth Smart Ready devices at an extremely low-power and low latency mode up to 50 meters away.

Instead of taking up to six seconds to pair like current Bluetooth implementations, Bluetooth 4.0 takes just six milliseconds – virtually instantly. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Think beyond Bluetooth headphones acting as an iPhone camera trigger.

One awesome possibility is the addition of Bluetooth 4.0 to the iPod nano. Low latency is especially important for gaming and healthcare accessories, so expect some big strides in those markets. Bluetooth 4.0 should also help reduce the lag when using the AirPlay mirroring feature in iOS 5 which lets you stream whatever is shown on your iOS device to your television set through the Apple TV set-top box. That’s only scratching the surface, though…

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Pioneer Airplay 3D Home Theater Receiver with iOS App controls: $300

Amazon offers the Pioneer 840-watt 7.1-Channel 3D Home Theater Receiver, model no. VSX-1021-K, for $299.99 (add it to your cart to see the price). With free shipping, that’s $20 under our mention from last month and the lowest total price we could find by $99. Features include 120 watts per channel into seven channels, Airplay streaming, iPod, iPhone, and iPad App compatibility, Ethernet and Bluetooth connectivity, five HDMI inputs with 3D passthrough, one HDMI output, and more.

Just last week, the older model, without Airplay, was slashed to the same price.

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Pioneer VSX-1020-K 770W 7.1 3D Home Theater Receiver: $299

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Today only, Amazon has the Pioneer VSX-1020-K Home Theater Receiver for $299 with free shipping.  That’s close to half off the list price of this 770W 7.1 3D iPod/iPhone/iPad-controlled stereo system which features include six HDMI 1.4 inputs, 110 watts of power into seven channels, subwoofer output, and more.

iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 2.

We covered the VSX-1020-K when it was launched last year for $549.  Since then it has been superseded by newer Pioneer products with Airplay. Read more

VMware View Client for iPad updated with iOS 5 support- Airplay, multitasking, more

In anticipation of Citrix Synergy 2011 in Barcelona, VMware has just pushed out a huge update to all of their mobile View clients, which are used to access a Windows virtual machine from your iPad and other mobile devices.

Other than a refined and slightly resdesinged UI, the name of the game for the iPad client update (version 1.2) is definitely iOS 5 support. That means you will now be able to use multitasking without losing your current session. Before today’s update, lack of the feature really took away from the experience of being able to use native iPad features/apps and your virtual machine’s apps simultaneously. Parallels ($79) has had much of this functionality for awhile now.

Also included as part of the iOS 5 support is AirPlay. While the previous client allowed you to hook up to a larger display via HDMI or VGA adapter, the updated View client has full AirPlay support allowing you to use the $99 Apple TV as a wireless go between. Another really nice addition that goes great with AirPlay support is a new full-screen keyboard and trackpad combo (image above). This will of course only be enabled when using an external display.

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Facebook for iPad app goes live, we go hands-on: Chat, AirPlay, full-screen games and photos

Update: It is live, we’ve taken a walkthrough below.

According to The Verge (formerly known as This is my next), the elusive Facebook for iPad app is about to go live “momentarily” on the App Store. The iPhone app will also get updated, the publication has it, with bookmarks to apps, a new Requests dialog that will display app notifications, and support for Facebook Credits for in-app payments. VentureBeat quoted Facebook engineer Leon Dubinsky as describing the software on the Facebook blog, but no such post had gone live at press time. While the social networking giant has yet to formally announce the program, they already have a dedicated URL up and running at facebook.com/mobile/ipad.

The page invites users to download the free Facebook for iPad app here. That URL actually leads to the existing iPhone app, which indicates that both the new iPad app and the existing iPhone client have been merged into a universal binary. The official list of features doesn’t disappoint: You can chat on the iPad’s beautiful 9.7-inch canvas, browse and flip through your friends’ photos, as well as play games and watch high-definition movies in full screen mode.

What’s best, it supports AirPlay technology so you can easily and wirelessly beam your videos and snaps to that big telly in your living room through the Apple TV set-top box, which is also up for an update with 1080p video output via the A5 chip. At post time, the US App Store still had the iPhone app hosted at the URL, but it shouldn’t take too long before changes propagate throughout regional App Stores. Go past the break for release notes, more screenies and a hands on video.

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Joypad streams iOS games from iPad to Apple TV, uses iPhone as controller

A new app called Joypad allows users to play iOS games on their Apple TV. Granted, you will need an iPad and iPhone to get this to work, but as seen in the video above it works really well. After you download the Joystick app on your iPhone it will connect to the iPad via Bluetooth.

Once the connection has been made you can then push the game from your iPad to the Apple TV with Airplay. In effect you’ll be using your iPhone as a controller and your iPad as “console”. As of now the catalog of games is relatively small, but with the Joypad SDK any developer can add this capability into their apps. (via The Next Web)

Download

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Apple TV 4.2.2 update released, bugfixes mostly

Apple has just pushed out a software update to the Apple TV and it’s version 4.2.2 build number 8F305. The update is likely bug fix related and we’ll update with more details when they are available.

Here’s the direct download link.

Update: Here are the updates:

Apple TV Software Update 4.2.2 features

Feature Summary
Audio Addresses an issue in which audio is not output when playing some video content.
Video playback Addresses an issue in which video is not displayed when playing some content.
Audio output setting Adds an audio output setting for switching to 16-bit audio for compatibility with some TVs and AV receivers.
Live FF/RW improvements Improves the performance of fast-forwarding and rewinding live events.
Movie description Addresses an issue in which the description information is not displayed for some movies.
YouTube video order Addresses an issue in which YouTube subscription videos were not ordered by date.

Jailbreakers might want to hold off.  Via MuscleNerd: (thanks commenter)

Apple just pushed out a lone AppleTV2G update…stay away from that if you’re currently untethered on ATV2G

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