Spotify announced today that it is launching a new way to streaming music to connected speakers around the house with its new “Spotify Connect” feature that is coming to a line-up of Spotify-supported speakers.
The new AirPlay-like feature allows you to walk into your house and seamlessly switch from listening to your playlist on your iPhone to playing music on your living room speakers. You current listening session is synced up to the cloud so you can switch faster without stopping the flow of music.
Unlike AirPlay though, Spotify Connect will cost you some money as the feature will only be available soon to Premium subscribers. Third-party OEMs are expect to roll out Connect supported speakers later this year.
One of my most-used Mac apps is Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil, a utility which hijacks the audio from any app you like and pipes it to your AirPlay speakers. It synced audio and video over AirPlay before Apple added the feature (back when it was called AirTunes), and is a great way to send the same music to every one of the stack of wireless speakers I’m testing at any one time (it’s like a bad disco in here).
Now, there is Airfoil Remote, which lets you control Airfoil for Mac from your iPhone.
The best thing about AirPlay is that it just works. It takes about two taps to send audio from an iPhone to an Apple TV or other supported device. The downside to AirPlay is that Apple owns it exclusively, and accessory makers have to pay a licensing fee to use it in their products. That means customers pay more for an average AirPlay-capable speaker vs. a Bluetooth box.
It’s our own fault. We all asked Apple to dramatically change the look and feel of the iOS operating system, which, until yesterday, remained largely unchanged since the introduction of the original iPhone back in 2007. And we all complained when it didn’t do that with iOS 6 this time last year.
But I can’t help but feel the Cupertino company is now punishing us for all those requests, and all that complaining we did before about its skeuomorphic designs.
When it comes to design, iOS 7 is vastly different to its predecessors. It still functions in much the same way — though there are some new features you’ll need to get used to — but it looks completely different. As soon as you power it up for the first time the minimalistic feel is staring back at you, but it isn’t until you’ve completed the setup process and arrived at your home screen that you want to vomit in your own lap.
After testing AirPlay speakers against Bluetooth speakers, one thing has jumped out at me: AirPlay is way, way better. In terms of sound at least. Which is why I’m interested in the Wren v5 wireless speaker, an AirPlay speaker from an ex-president at Harman International.
The official SoundCloud apps for Android and iOS have today been updated to add support for Google+ Sign-In, allowing you to use your Google+ account in place of Facebook or Twitter. What’s more, there’s also support for Google+ sharing.
Denon’s new range of audio receivers, called InCommand, has support for Apple’s AirPlay built right in alongside the great sound and embarrassment of cable hookups usually found in this kind of gadget. And that’s in addition to being able to control the unit itself from a dedicated Denon app.
Hey fellas. You know what the laydeez love more than anything? Ferrari-branded gear, that’s what. When they see a man in a Ferrari jacket, or toting a Ferrari laptop, or – best of all – topped with a Ferrari baseball cap, do you know what she thinks? She thinks that you must own a Ferrari! Or that you drive one for a living, probably in those macho Formula One races.
More than anything, she can’t stop thinking about your Grand Prix.
The HBO Go app for iOS has today been updated to add some great new features, including support for AirPlay multitasking. Game of Thrones fans will also be able to enjoy enhancements to the interactive experience on iPad.