Announcement overload

I hate speculating about Apple events, but before today’s event one thing seemed pretty obvious - there would be a lot of stuff. There was an obvious hint of this - last week Apple released iPhone versions of its iWork productivity apps with nothing but a press release. Normally that would have warranted 20 minutes of rhapsody and demo from Steve (God he looks thin, by the way). If there wasn’t time to do that, how much more even cooler stuff must there be? 

I was right - the event was PACKED with new features. In fact, so packed that lots of other stuff was bumped too. One example is wifi syncing - on people’s wishlists for years, and quietly mentioned at the bottom of the second page of features. Now that Apple has the low-level OS and APIs in place it’s turned its attention to applications, where it’s a lot easier to make lots of eye-catching announcements. 

However, the biggest thing that was bounced from the event is that Airplay will now work across all apps. Airplay is the tech that lets you send video from an iPhone or iPad to an Apple TV. 

In iOS 5 this will no longer be limited to video - any App can be sent to the TV with one button (regardless of whether the developer enabled it). Such as, say, any game. So your iPod Touch game can now be played on the plasma TV in your living room.Even more, there’s an API to allow a developer to show one thing on the device and another on the TV. What does this do to the Wii? 

More, what happens when, as I strongly suspect, Apple licences Airplay to TV manufacturers? A nice end-run around the whole cable operator and set-top-box value chain…