Steve Jobs email: AirPlay video streaming coming to Safari and App Store

Apple Online Store“One of the major new features deployed in iOS 4.2 last week was AirPlay, Apple’s solution for streaming video, audio, and photos from portable iOS devices to the new Apple TV for display on users’ televisions,” Eric Slivka reports for MacRumors. “Unfortunately, the feature’s debut came with a few more limitations than users had originally hoped for, with streaming from third-party applications and even Safari limited to audio-only.”

Slivka reports, “One MacRumors reader emailed Apple CEO Steve Jobs about the future of video streaming via AirPlay and reportedly received a response noting that Apple hopes to bring additional functionality to AirPlay sometime next year.”

MacRumors Reader: Hi, I recently updated both my iPhone 4 and iPad to 4.2. I think my favourite feature is airplay. This is seriously amazing and makes sharing content seamless. I just purchased Apple TV and was wondering are you ever going to make airplay video work for videos in safari and 3rd party apps? I hope to get a response. smile

Steve Jobs: Yep, hope to add these features to Airplay in 2011.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Manny S.” for the heads up.]


  1. I hope they fix the horrific wifi issues first that many people, self included, are experiencing since upgrading to iOS 4.2.1, and the latest Apple TV iOS version. Streaming is unbearably slow and the connection drops constantly. No, it’s not the Internet connection being slow (other devices stream just fine). Something’s wrong with iOS 4.2 regarding wifi.

  2. Apple seems slow to get features right or complete. Airplay is a shadow of what it could be. Airprint is pretty useless. Multitasking does not work for most of my apps. When I multitask from one app to the next, when I go back most times that app is starting over anyway. 4.2 was a waste of my time.

  3. I want full Safari view on my HDTV.

    Let’s face it, surfing the web on your tv has always sucked because you can’t navigate very easily. But, if you could do it with your iPad and then everyone else in the room could see what you’re seeing on the iPad as you move through websites — including zooming — now that would be pretty cool.

    The iPad/touch/iPhone will be the remote navigators of the future and what they see your HDTV will see. Make it so, Steve.

  4. @Maconymous

    I agree with you! My iPhone 3GS will loose it’s Wifi and I am 8 feet from the Apple WiFi/Router. I have to go out of the App i am in and into settings then my WiFi connection returns. I have reset the network and even the phone it’s self. Changed the settings to manual as well. It just seems to loose it. I have never had this issue before.

    sigh ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”hmmm” style=”border:0;” />

  5. I have Airport Extreme + iPhone 4 iOS 4.2 (x2) + iPhone 3G iOS 4.2 (x2) + AppleTV + mac mini (x2) + macbook, and I don’t have any of the issues that you mention. Streaming works great from anywhere, no dropped connections. Everything just works, all the time.

  6. @@iQuack

    Maybe it varies by model. I have two 64gb wifi only iPads, 2 16gb iPhone 4, and apple tv 2, all with latest iOS, and all are experiencing dropping connections and unwatchable streaming quality. The Mac mini I have is unaffected, and is on the same wifi network.

  7. There were rumors that iOS 4.2 was pushed back to later in November because of wifi problems that they supposedly fixed before shipping. Apparently they shipped it to meet the November deadline, with wifi problems still unresolved. Let’s hope that 4.3 comes out next week and fixes this.

  8. People don’t think about how something actually works. In your home, you probably have one wireless router. Your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch) connects to that router. Your Apple TV connects to that router. Any connection from iOS device to Apple TV goes through that router.

    Therefore, if the iOS device is really streaming Internet content (such as HD video) to the Apple TV, the following separate actions must take place. The router receives the streamed data and sends it to the iOS device. After sufficient caching, it starts to play on the iOS device. When the user enables AirPlay, the iOS device “re-streams” the data (over the same WiFi connection that is still being used to receive the data) back to the router. The router then directs this new stream to the Apple TV, where it is processed and displayed on the HDTV. Very inefficient…

    For something that requires a lot of data, such as streaming HD video, I don’t think it will work reliably as described above, even in the best case network environment. And Apple has no control over the quality of the customer’s home network; it may not even be the fastest 802.11n. Also, AirPlay is supposed to work with iPhone 3GS, and it only has the slower 802.11g.

    THAT is why it is currently limited to Internet video sources Apple controls (iTunes) or has worked closely with (YouTube and Netflix). Here is how I think AirPlay currently really works when streaming video. When the user enables AirPlay, the video stream no longer goes to the iOS device at all. It goes directly to the Apple TV, just like you were using the Apple TV directly. The iOS device just becomes a remote control to control the playback. But to do this “trick” seamlessly (magically), there has to be some “built-in” coordination between iOS device and the video’s Internet source, such as for switching the stream target at a precise point in the video. This explains why AirPlay for video is currently limited (why it does not work with any ol’ video playing in Safari). This implementation will no doubt expand over time, which is what Steve Jobs is saying in the brief noncommittal email (assuming its not fake).

    For audio streaming, the data requirement is only a small fraction of what is needed for video. Therefore, for audio streaming, the iOS device is really streaming (through the router) to the Apple TV. THAT is why it works universally. AirPlay for audio is just an updated version of the old AirTunes feature and works very differently from AirPlay for video.

    Just my personal theory… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  9. I have Comcast modem+Airport Extreme + iPhone 4 iOS 4.2 + AppleTV + macbook+iPad 3G+Panasonic 50″ plasma.
    Everything works just fine. Love NetFlix and iPad
    streaming. iOS 4.2 is not the problem. Look elsewhere.

  10. Hi
    I don’t know whom should I write to discuss on it.
    Can anyone tell Steve Jobs to put less pressure on ‘Home Button’ on iPhone! Sensitivity of the Home Button of my iPhone is decreasing day by day, using more of it!!

    Like, to go from one app to another we have to push Home Button (once to twice). But if we could do that on the touch screen we could avoid hardware damage (i.e., sensitivity of the Home Button)

    How we can do that: 
    When we start an apps, there can be an exit/quit button where just pressing (touching) that twice we can go to home screen in stead of pressing the Home Button once. 

    When we start an apps, there can also be an ‘Multi-Apps’ button where just pressing (touching) once or twice we can go to Multi Apps menu (on the bottom of the screen) in stead of pressing the Home Button twice!

    This way we can make our hardware’s (i.e., iPhone) life longer!!!

    Steve, I am a user of all your iPhone models. Please reply to my idea.

    Md. Masud Rana
    Managing Director
    Asia Composite Mills Ltd. 

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