Rogue Amoeba’s AirFoil started out as a way to stream any non-iTunes audio to your AirPort Express mini-router, back when AirPlay was still called AirTunes. Then it was expanded with a free iOS app which would let you stream music from AirFoil on the Mac to AirFoil on your iPod or iPhone, handy for hooking up to a stereo.
Now we have AirFoil Speakers Touch 3 for iOS, and it adds in proper AirPlay support, letting you send music from pretty much any iDevice you own.
AirPlay support comes via a $3 in-app purchase. I grabbed it immediately and dug an old, almost-dead iPod Touch out of the gadget closet, managed to wake the ailing screen backlight for long enough to apply the update, and hooked it up to the living room speakers.
Now, in addition to being able to send music from any app on my Mac to those speakers, I can also send audio from my iPad or from my newer, non-dead iPod Touch. I do have a couple of AirPort Expresses in the apartment, but these run so hot that it seems rather wasteful to have them switched on all the time – especially as I can hook up the iPod’s dock to the solar panel in the living room to keep it topped up.
The app works great. Like any Wi-Fi-based AirPlay solution, it takes a few seconds to buffer the audio before it starts playing, which makes it pretty useless for games. But Rogue Amoeba has managed to fix things up so movie audio stays in sync, meaning that it’s easy to watch TV shows on the iPad with big, surround-sound audio.
There are a few other niceties in the update – Retina Graphics on both iPhone and iPad, for example – but the real biggie is AirPlay. And considering an Airport Express still costs a ridiculous $100, $3 is an absolute bargain.
Airfoil Speakers Touch is available now, free, in the App Store.