With tomorrow's Apple announcement looming upon us, we're hoping for something a little more than an obvious iPad 3 announcement. Whilst using Mountain Lion it feels like Apple are working towards the goal of making all of their platforms (iOS and OSX) much more integrated.
It has been a long belief over here at Fishrod Interactive that Apple are working on new concepts to make our working life easier and much more integrated, this concept is better known as ubiquitous computing. Whilst Microsoft have Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 8 integration coming sometime soon Apple seem to have been dormant on the subject aside from the subtle additions to iOS such as AirPlay Mirroring and the still to be fully unified iCloud platform.
In our eyes, Apple are either sitting, waiting and watching the industry to see where the wind blows, or they're getting ready to release something BIG! This is our prediction.
SmartTV's are "sort of" the way forward. Apps are stored on the TV and you interact with them using a crude remote control or if you're lucky your Android phone or tablet. Having experienced this on a friends 3D Samsung TV... I can tell you that the experience is far from pleasant. Aside from cringing whilst watching him set up the internet with the TV and then attempt to sign into twitter with his remote control... I couldn't take any more and promptly left!
The problem isn't just what you use to interact with it, it's the fact that these apps live and breath on the TV, which at times makes them very slow on cheaper models, or even worse, may give you a massive headache whilst you frustratingly navigate through the many confusing icons onscreen. Simply watching the video above hurts my head!
In an attempt to think like Apple... it doesn't make sense to have installable apps on the Apple TV as some people have predicted Apple will do in the very near future... why? It's quite simple, as an iOS and Mobile Web development company, it's already a pain trying to design and develop for so many displays with so many variations in pixel density and size.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could just develop for iOS (iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch) and make use of AirPlay Mirroring to add functionality when a second screen is attached through AirPlay mirroring? iOS would handle the scalling, and Apple TV would stream video and audio to the TV.
Your apps will live on your mobile device and not your TV, when you get home and want to play Fruit Ninja on your 50" TV, it's as simple as tapping a button. If you're watching Netflix downstairs and want to watch it in bed, it's as simple as taking your iPad/iPhone upstairs.
What would be even nicer is if iWork when connected to a TV through AirPlay mirroring would make use of the full iPad/iPhone's screen as a keyboard and stream the main display to the TV. Just to re-inforce our prediction, OS X Mountain Lion can now natively stream your display and content using AirPlay and AirPlay mirroring.
It's important to remember that all of these technologies exist already and are in the hands of the consumer... but nobody seems to really be using it, why is that?
Just to put the nail in the coffin, CultOfMac have also just released an article which states that AppleTV's are running low on stock.
Up until now AppleTV has been a hobby horse for Apple, we believe that Apple are working on further integration between iOS, OS X, Apple TV and iCloud. Let's watch this space and see what happens.
We'll leave you with this final thought, below is Microsoft's vision of the future, the funny thing is that it's actually not too far away! What would you like to see come of not just tomorrow's announcement but for technology to achieve before the end of 2012?