Getting what you see on your phone to show up on your television has been something that companies have been trying to do for years. Nokia used to make smartphones with special headphone jacks that could pump out video over the now ancient yellow, red, and white cables that we all remember from our childhood. Then companies jumped on board the whole DLNA thing, but it was ridiculously complicated to configure, so only the nerdiest of nerds got it to actually work. Not long after that, we started seeing HDMI ports on smartphones.
Fast forward to September 2010, which is when Apple introduced the world to AirPlay. Your iOS device and your Apple TV are connected to the same network, so whenever you’re listening to a song or watching a video on your iPhone or iPod, you just tap one button and boom, it magically gets displayed on your television. We saw Google’s response to that just a few weeks ago with Miracast support in Android 4.2 and the Nexus 4.
But there’s more to AirPlay than just mirroring your screen. Apple wants developers to create apps where one UI is on the device in your hands, and another UI is on the television in front of you. Microsoft too, they’re trying this with what they call “SmartGlass”. They’re pitching it as a “second screen” solution so you can interact with your media in ways you couldn’t before.
According to an interview that Google Product Manager Timbo Drayson did with GigaOM, Google is set to release their own two screen standard that will be open for anyone to use. Details are light at this point, so we can’t even tell you when it’s going to be a reality, but you guys should definitely be excited.
Apple invented AirPlay to sell more devices. Microsoft invented SmartGlass to get more people to buy content from their new content stores. Google on the other hand, Timbo says it best:
“We really want to move the whole industry forward.”