How to turn your iPad into a valuable boardroom tool

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to show a keynote presentation, or flash up a spread sheet on my iPad and I haven’t had my VGA adapter handy and have had to go through the well documented workaround of screen dumping each slide to a photo and then using Airplay to show my photos.

Well, sitting at home on Saturday afternoon and my Apple TV prompted me for a system update. I let the update do its thing and at the end it gave me a what’s new page and something caught my eye “iPad2 mirroring to HDMI output”

Could this be what I’ve always wanted and thought the iPad needed … wireless transmission from the iPad to a large screen for all apps, not just those that supported Airplay?

Indeed it is exactly that… one of the coolest features in iOS5 and one that hardly anyone knows about… and to turn it on couldn’t be simpler.

You won’t find the controls in the Settings app on your iPad. Instead, they are next to the iPod controls. Double-press the home button on your iPad to see the multitasking bar (the one that shows all your recent apps along the bottom). Swipe to the start of the list and next to the music controls you’ll see the AirPlay icon. Tap on that, select your Apple TV and toggle the mirror button to ‘on’

Voila, on your TV you’ll see your iPad desktop and it’s just like having a large monitor or projector connected… every app I’ve tried has worked just fine.

So, if you’re a business user nip out and spend a very modest £100 on an AppleTV box and stick it in your boardroom. Not only will you get even better use from your iPad you also get the wow factor with your visitors.

PS.. make sure you download the latest update for Apple TV once you’ve installed it.

This time it’s Apple TV… am I turning into an Apple fanatic??

Okay, so I’ve written a few posts on the iPad, iPod and the iPhone. I’ve ranted incessantly about the horrendous experience I had following the upgrade of my iPhone 3GS to iOS4, I still can’t believe how Apple got away with making so many peoples life a misery for so long. I’ve also written here about how my iPad wouldn’t replace my PC, not least due to printing and lack of Flash support. But again I’ve written here how both of these limitations can easily be resolved.

I didn’t realise how hooked I had become on Apple kit until recently… over the last few years my wife, two kids and I have amassed 2 x iPads, 2 x iPhones, 2 x iPod Touch, 1 x Classic iPod, 2 x iPod Nano and an iPod Shuffle… Steve Jobs has certainly done well out of this family.

A few months back I also invested in an Apple Airport so that we could stream music from our 6000 song collection on iTunes around the house, and at only £80 or so, we were delighted with this.

Now well and truly hooked, I then asked Santa for Apple TV for Christmas and he duly obliged.

Setting this up couldn’t be simpler, almost plug in a go (once you’ve connected it to a router). You have to set up home sharing in iTunes, which again is very simple and that’s it. Now, I can sit in the living room and stream movies, music and podcasts from iTunes to my TV in very respectable quality.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, why didn’t he just put the DVD into the player connected to the TV?  Fair point I suppose, but I can also rent movies from AppleTV (iTunes) for a modest price of £2.99 … which is cheaper than my Virgin cable provider at £3.50 (a huge saving of 51p) … so if I rent 250 movies then the Apple TV has paid for itself right?

Erm no, that’s not what it’s about at all. I bought it because it’s a really cool gadget, for the same reason I bought my Sling Box and a whole host of other gadgets, and even if I only use it a half dozen times it still gives me enjoyment.

So just as I’m really happy with my Apple TV, things get even better when I discover that with Apple Airplay I can stream movies from my iPads, iPod Touches, and my iPhone as well. This means my PC iTunes library doesn’t have to be switched on and any movie installed on my device can very quickly be played on the TV, brilliant!!

What’s more Airplay also gets me round the limitations of only being able to stream the same song from iTunes to my Airport devices as I can use my iPhone etc as a separate play list and play different songs to different rooms.

So there you have it, an Apple fanatic? Well I’ve not got a Macbook yet, but it could just be a matter of time…

It’s decided… the Iphone gets one more chance.

Just downloaded iOS4.2 for the ipad and it looks great, I really like the Airplay and multitasking features… Can’t yet get Airprint to work, which for me has filled a huge gap in functionality… even though I have a wireless printer, most likely my model isn’t supported.

So what has this to do with the Iphone? well as I type this I’m downloading iOS4.2 for the iPhone. After the OS is installed I’m going to reset and take the phone back to basics.

If this works i’ll be delighted, but if like today, it still drops calls, then it’s curtains.