Now that the highly anticipated iPhone event has come and gone, it’s time to start looking to the future. Pundits and analysts seem to have mixed feelings about Apple’s latest handset, but Tim Cook and company are just getting started.

While the iPhone 4S is still an amazing piece of hardware, it was clear that software was the star of yesterday’s show. But among the new Cards app and Find My Friends, one software feature was grossly overlooked: AirPlay Mirroring…

We originally saw the technology back at WWDC, when Apple mentioned the feature in its iOS 5 keynote. Using Apple’s AirPlay platform and an Apple TV, users could stream live activity from their iPad 2s to their TV sets.

During yesterday’s event, in passing, Apple mentioned that the new iPhone 4S would also be capable of AirPlay mirroring. This means that users can use the device to do things like surf the web, and more importantly play games, on their TVs.

Let’s think about this for a minute. With this feature, developers are not only capable of designing iOS games that play full screen on HD television sets, they can utilize the iPhone 4S as a controller of sorts. This video may look familiar:

Imagine if Apple would have had a few big-name game developers, like Epic or EA, demo the feature on stage yesterday using the new handset. What if Epic would have shown Infinity Blade 2 on a TV set, controlling the action with the iPhone 4S.

AirPlay mirroring is groundbreaking. And with all of the different gyros and sensors in the new iPhone, not to mention its powerful A5 processor, the possibilities for developers are practically endless. Think Wii-style games.

So why didn’t Apple give AirPlay mirroring the light of day? Well, there is one downside to the feature: it requires an Apple TV. Although the company has seen steady sales of its $99 media hub, it’s no where near popular.

But I believe Apple has a plan to change that. And when it figures out how to make every user’s TV set AirPlay-compatible, expect to see the Cupertino company make a hard push into the gaming industry. “Let’s talk gaming.”

  • Justin

    Wow

  • Shawn

    So??? Why didn’t they try investing that 80b plus in money on a new design? Mmmmm. Bigger screen to enjoy all these improvements? They are constantly a step behind and use android and jailbreak community Tweaks to refine and use a year later. Don’t get me wrong I am a iPhone owner and love the device but seriously. Can they not design a new phone? By the time a new design comes out they are again over a year behind.

    • akag9

      My thought exactly. Exactly! Thanks.

    • AIM

      Apple does not change designs for the sake of changing. They put their all into getting a design right from the beginning to the best of their ability. That is why MacBook designs still remain fresh after so many years, which PC manufacturers cannot hope to do, or be eaten by competition.

      iPhone 4S is similar to iPhone 3G transition to iPhone 3GS. I for one was very happy to see the iPhone 4S, as I truly love the all glass design of the iPhone, which will still look beautiful 10 years from now.

  • T

    Someone please explain why is this not an iOS 5 feature instead of a iPhone 4s / iPad 2 feature only. So now apple is basically saying that my iPhone 4 sucks but without actually saying it

    • Anon

      I’m assuming it has to do with the hardware. The A4 simply doesn’t have the horsepower (especially graphically) to upscale to 720p, transmit over wifi AND still display on your iPhone.

  • Dusean

    I’m picking up apple tv as soon as I pick up my iPhone 4s to replace my av cables, this is going to be tha shit, aahhhh I can’t wait

  • vhaos

    I am thinking that Apple made this feature only for 4S and iPad 2 beacsue those devices have stronger processors.. playing game and mirroring it to big screen..? but it is also a long known strategy for Apple to give those tiny bits of awesomeness to new devices so that people upgrade. Want cool new feature? upgrade. that is how it will always be with Apple

    • T

      That blows cause I’ve seen an iPhone 4 mirror because of it’s jailbreak tweak but it had to use cables. So the iPhone 4 is clearly capable of mirroing it’s device. This should have been an iOS 5 feature

    • “that is how it will always be with Apple”
      As opposed to everyone else who don’t want you to upgrade anything. Just sit tight with your old piece of hardware (and maybe that Angry Bird game that everybody’s raving about even after all this time) and all will be right as rain.

  • Anthony

    I personally don’t care for mirroring. I have a ps3 and xbox for games which look just fine. If you wanna surf the web on your tv go back to webtv.

  • Jimmy

    Brought to you from the most overstated iPhone headlines website.

  • fdxgncgfn

    yeah so instead of buying a $200 wii or ps3, you pay $100 for the Apple TV and then >$700 for the iphone, >$500 for an ipad instead, or >$200 for a sucky iPod Touch.

  • anonymous

    I just don’t get it why they use the proprietary AirPlay for that, Why not only using the Apple Digital AV Adapter (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4108). As far as I understand, it can mirror or expand you mobile screen to you TV via ordinary HDMI cable. So it’s up to the app/game itself to support different views for TV and iphone screen.

  • Hayley

    Because then it has a cable!