Despite the fact that the operating system was released just a few days ago and there have been some issues with getting redemption codes and downloads, an amazing number of Mac users have already upgraded to OS X Mountain Lion. Having used it since shortly after the OS was released I can honestly say that it is, by far, the best update I’ve seen to OS X. I love the integration with iOS, the features of the new Safari and, of course, I am thrilled to have the, admittedly limited, ability to globally use voice recognition by simply pressing the Fn key twice. (It has already changed the way in which I write on my computer.) There are some true gems in Mountain Lion and one of them should have the cable companies rather scared- Airplay.
Now I have been using Airplay on my iOS devices for some time. In fact, since coming up to the mountains for vacation I have often had a show streaming through my iPad to my Apple TV so I can watch it on a bigger screen. I welcomed the ability to have Airplay on my MacBook Pro but didn’t see it as a huge deal since I already had access to it on my iPad. It is… and I realized just how big it is last night. There was a show on Hulu that I wanted to watch but when I went to the Hulu page on my iPad it gave the ominous message that the show is only available on a computer in the browser. That, of course, is a way of limiting access to certain shows and keeping all of the TV and cable companies happy. But here’s the thing – because I upgraded to Mountain Lion I was able to play the show in the browser on my MacBook Pro and, with the push of a button, have it streamed to my HDTV. The process was smooth, it was seamless, and it only hiccupped up a few times. I appreciated having the ability to do so last night and it brings me one step closer to getting rid of cable entirely. Yes, I’ll limit some of my options and have some delays but I’ll save a bundle in the process.
With Airplay on the Mac you can now have anything that would be on your computer seamlessly streamed to your TV thanks to a $99 AppleTV. It’s why the AppleTV is Mike’s pick in our newsletters crave section today and why anyone with a MacBook should be ordering one. It is $100 well spent and cable companies should be shaking once this moves into the mainstream.
(Oh, and the show… it’s pretty bad.)