Media

Because TVs & iPads belong together, Brightcove targets dual-screen Apple TV apps

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Soon your iPhone (and/or iPad) won’t just be the device you immediately reach for whenever a long patch of commercial interruptions comes on while watching a TV show.

Today Brightcove is announcing a new set of tools for its App Cloud mobile application building service that will let app developers integrate your  iOS screen into the TV watching experience. The move is based on Apple’s decision to enable Airplay mirroring from a user’s Mac computer to their television screen via Apple TV. Google’s Google TV platform is also working on similar dual-screen functionality, which would make Brightcove’s new tools even more useful.

“There’s been an incredible amount of speculation about what the future of Apple TV might hold and whether Apple is going to introduce an application model for TVs,” said Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire in a video discussing the new App Cloud announcement. “We’re obviously incredibly excited about it as well.”

Brightcove’s App Cloud service is a way for people to build mobile apps for Android and iOS, despite a lack of programming knowledge. The service helps debug the apps for errors, and get them ready to submit into Apple’s app store or the Google Play app store. In addition to the new focus on dual-screen Apple TV app tools, Brightcove is making its App Cloud service available for free along with a limited open-source SDK. If you want features like real-time analytics, push notifications, and native ads to run within App Cloud apps, you’ll need to sign up for a pro version of the service.

Allaire demonstrated an App Cloud dual-screen app using fictitious movie service “Vido” in the video, which we’ve embedded below. When he turns on the Airplay mirroring functionality while playing a movie on his iPad, the screen displays information about the movie and lets him navigate through the app itself.

In an ideal world, apps created with Brightcove’s new tools would provide the perfect companion for TV shows with strong fan followings. You’d be able to see trivia pop up as the show progressed, control the playback (pause, forward, play, etc.), and maybe even get something more engaging to watch than the Charmin toilet paper commercial when it comes to advertising.

However, this is provided that media companies jump on board, and actually commission developers to create these new apps. The few brave media properties that do take advantage of a dual-screen experience are likely to see a nice benefit for their viewing audience.