updated 11:25 am EST, Tue January 25, 2011
Tech should spur Apple TV use
Despite the feature's association with iOS 4.3, Apple has already begun approving third-party apps with support for AirPlay video, reports say. While video has technically been a feature of AirPlay since iOS 4.2, only the forthcoming v4.3 firmware will unlock the option outside of iOS' native video player. The technology can push video to a second AirPlay-compatible device, which currently means the Apple TV unless using an app like AirView.
An early example of the extended AirPlay support is StreamToMe, which streams media hosted on a Mac or Windows PC over Wi-Fi or 3G. That content can in turn be redirected nearby, but until now video output has required connecting an Apple handheld to a display using cables. The app costs $3, and can technically run on any iOS device running v3.0 or better, although features change depending on hardware and firmware combinations.
The approval of apps compatible with iOS 4.3 may suggest that Apple has essentially cemented the update's codebase. A planned interim release, v4.2.5, will only be geared towards supporting features of the Verizon iPhone, such as personal hotspots. The v4.3 firmware could in theory appear shortly after the Verizon iPhone launch on February 10th, or even before, leaving v4.2.5 as a very short-lived release.