Like many of you, I took in Apple’s iPad 2 announcements today. As expected, given the rumormill, this iteration of the 10″ tablet clocks in with a thinner body that houses a faster processor and a pair of cameras. Not to mention a new option for Verizon 3G data services, although monthly pricing wasn’t disclosed. As part of the festivities, iOS 4.3 was also announced. And while AirPlay sees some improvement, I’m still not very impressed with its (in)ability to beam video to Apple TV hardware.
But Apple also happened to reveal a Digital AV Adapter this afternoon. This new dongle provides HDMI output, both audio and video (in addition to incorporating data/power pass-thru). Unlike the currently limited AirPlay and even official component cables, it’s a “true mirrored video output” that “works with all apps.” Meaning your iPhone (or iPad or iPod Touch) will immediately exceed just about every set-top box you own when it comes to online audio and video. Well, assuming you can deal with lower resolutions and no remote control.
Watching Netflix, Hulu, Adult Swim, The Onion, etc with an iPhone and this cable on a television may not be practical on a daily basis, but the possibilities are interesting. And, as small as my Apple TV and Roku are, I’d much rather travel with just one extra cable… and not have to worry about punching holes through a hotel’s firewall.
Update: True “mirroring” is only supported from the iPad 2 according to Apple’s fine print.
Postscript: Regarding Apple TV itself, I still see no reason why a full-on app store isn’t in the cards. Then again, if the updated App Store subscription model stands, Apple may find few takers for their television platform and could choose to stick with the existing curated method that led to YouTube and Netflix channels. Also, Apple TV related, the new dual core “A5” iPad 2 chip could make an appearance in an Apple TV refresh… and is probably just what the doctor ordered in bumping ATV from 720p to 1080p.