Brightcove Makes it Easier to Develop Dual-Screen iOS and Apple TV Apps

Brightcove announced today the introduction of App Cloud Core, a free edition of the company's app platform that allows developers to create native iOS apps using HTML5 and JavaScript. In addition, one of the major new features of the API is the ability for developers to easily create dual-screen apps for iOS devices to broadcast content to the Apple TV over AirPlay.

The new solution enables media publishers to develop rich content apps for the iPhone and iPad that simultaneously control content, data and information presented on an HDTV while displaying synchronized content on the iPad or iPhone. The unique dual-screen solution leverages Apple's AirPlay technology, which allows viewers to use applications that simultaneously present content, interactive options and data on both the touch device and an Apple TV.

This ability to broadcast separate content to a user's device and Apple TV is not new (Real Racing 2 HD Demo), but the new APIs provide another easy way for developers to implement these features. Brightcove offers this demo of how it can be used:


There's been a lot of attention to how Apps might work on a television interface. Microsoft recently announced a new technology called SmartGlass which offers a two-way Airplay-like standard that allows mobile devices to act as second screens for content being displayed on TV from an Xbox.

Beyond Apple's own efforts with AirPlay, there has been rumors that Apple might take it a step further with a fully developed Apple TV app model as well as the possibility of a full Apple television set in the near future.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

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109 months ago

This would be very nice, and I wouldn't be surprised if Apple adds a related API in the future but it is definitely not possible right now. I won't be surprised if they never add it in order to prevent apps from surreptitiously sending views to a screen.

This has been possible and actually quite easy to do with Cocoa for a long time. First you check whether [UIScreen screens].count >= 2. There is always one screen, but if this count is 2 or more then you have an external screen.

Next you get the second screen, that's [[UIScreen screens]objectAtIndex:1]. Get its bounds by calling the bounds method, create a window, set it to be on the second screen, add a view, and that's it. That's all to get started.

If you want to do it really well, you can ask iOS to tell you when external screens are added or removed, you can ask what resolutions are available and change the resolution if you want. But it's all really easy to do.

Designing a useful user interface may be a little problem, since your external screen won't be a touch screen; so if you put a button on the external display, nobody will be able to press it. Second display is purely for display.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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109 months ago
$ 99/month is not making it easier at all.
Free version is a teaser. Full features ain't free.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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109 months ago

is it me or is Apple moving to console more than an actual TV. AppleTV v.3 could with a little more room be a contender for casual gaming. :D


That's the thing, if Apple's intending on a successful "TV-like device", the device needs to possess significant feature improvements over a standard TV & Apple TV combo. Something pretty drastic. I'm in the camp that thinks it's going to happen.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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109 months ago
Nice but, having to invoke the bottom bar to launch the content via airplay kills the deal IMO. Would be far more intuitive to have the app push the content via AirPlay natively via some kind of button/menu.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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109 months ago

I already pay $99 a year to Apple to make my apps which can be natively programed to do this whole two screens, multi screen stuff (see Real Racing, the native Video app etc). And it's really not that hard if you bother to learn the SDKs.

So why would I pay, or worse make my users pay, any amount for such function. I might as well write DO NOT DOWNLOAD MY APP at the top of my description. These are folks that balk at spending even 99 cents for most stuff, especially games.

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I can agree with that. In fact I still strongly believe that all that 'real tv' talk is actually Apple updating their Cinema Display line up with higher quality and bigger sizes. I would happily pay for a 40-46 inch 1080p Retina Display with a healthy frame refresh and HDMI etc to plug in my blu-ray, my apple tv, my cable box, my computer rather than the same for a 'smart' tv that is full of a bunch of stuff I'll never use.


Not to mention the whole HTML5/Javascript solution when I've got all the heavy APIs I could desire to do the heavy lifting and then customize my functionality in C/ObjC/ObjC++/C++ via LLVM/Clang/OpenCL without adding a footprint, namely WebKit, on top just to then develop on top of that in a mark up language and a scripting language.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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109 months ago
YES! I would love to see this capability enabled for many of my apps. This is definitely a step in the right direction. I was hoping to see Apple promote/encourage this somehow with something like that, but good to see someone doing it!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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