HTC needs a real hit to pull itself out of the morass it’s been struggling in for years, so it’s no wonder that the 10 is packed to the brim with high-end features.
There’s an UltraPixel camera that tied the Galaxy S7 Edge for first place in DxOMark’s rankings; a USB 3.1 Type C port; and BoomSound speakers with a sub-woofer, just to name the major ones. Another feature coming to the HTC 10 – in a first for Android – is support for Apple’s AirPlay streaming protocol.
AirPlay support won’t be exclusive to the HTC 10 for long – thanks to an update to the HTC Connect app, users of HTC’s One (M7), One M8, and One M9 will be able to stream audio to AirPlay-enabled devices, including Apple TVs and a variety of smart speakers.
HTC launched Connect in the Play Store in March 2015. The app allows video and audio streaming to paired speakers or other devices supporting the AllPlay, Blackfire, Bluetooth, DLNA, and Miracast standards. Users can simply swipe up with three fingers from the bottom of the device to initiate streaming.
At least for now, the HTC 10 and the company’s older flagships will only be able to cast audio to AirPlay devices.
Why is this important? Surely, AirPlay is not a killer feature for most Android users. But HTC may be targeting iOS users who are already heavily invested – literally and figuratively – in Apple’s ecosystem. After all, people who spent a lot of money to build entertainment systems that support AirPlay won’t be inclined to give up on their iPhones for an Android. From that perspective, HTC is pretty smart to adopt AirPlay for its top of the line devices.