I have to admit, I was feeling a little ambiguous about the Apple TV announcement this week (even though I ordered one anyway). Considering my previous post, I thought I had missed something completely in thinking that there would be an app store for TV. And I suppose I did. But then it hit me: AirPlay is going to be about much more than media stored on your device. It's going to be about apps too.
Consider the biggest problem: there's no touch interface for the TV.
It's something that was constantly in my head when thinking about what might become of Apple TV. If you can't touch the screen, how to you interact with iOS, much less all the apps in the store. Simply put, you can't. And no amount of innovation can get around certain limitations in the interface that would make converting apps sloppy, if not impossible. You just can't play Angry Birds on a TV with a remote. I was sure that Apple would come up with a simple and elegant solution. And I think they have...
Consider the solution: a wireless connection to a large display, driven by a touch device (and not one, but two A4 processors).
So you're sitting on the couch, catching up on some news, when you decide to see what games are on. You fire up the MLB app, pick a game, and send it out to your Apple TV to watch, while all the game stats and controls are displayed on your device. Or maybe you decide you want to play some Real Racing HD, so you fire that up and send it over to the Apple TV. Your iPod/iPad/iPhone turns into the controller, and you're off to the races.
The point is that the Apple TV is basically a simple display for whatever apps are on your device. The device itself become the control, providing the missing touch interface, and allowing you to interact with the app in the way it was intended.