The Eye-C Taglists app for Google Android can stream to Apple's AirPlay devices. Apple's Airplay, a proprietary method for zapping music all through your house without running wires everywhere, is expanding beyond the realm of iOS devices.
Could it be on its way to becoming an industry standard — one that would allow Apple to charge the same sort of licensing fees for wireless music connections that it does today for speaker docks and other devices that connect to its proprietary iPhone/iPod/iPad slots?
We first spotted this trend in MOG's Mac app, which can send tunes to AirPlay — capable speakers and stereo systems as well as Apple's own AirPort Express and Apple TV, without requiring a workaround like Rogue Amoeba AirFoil.
Now, Eyecon Resources has taken things to the next level with an Android media player app that can send music to Apple's AirPlay devices, as well as anything that supports DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance).
Eye-C for Android and iPhone, released on Tuesday, let users create shareable "taglists" out of music, photos and videos on SoundCloud, YouTube, Picasa, Facebook or their own music libraries. But for now, what interests us is the Android version's magical ability to send music to AirPlay devices. After all, Android and iOS are bitter enemies.
Evolver.fm asked Eye-C vice president of marketing Alec Marshall, who holds the patent for the app and used to work on Apple's iTunes team, how the Eye-C team managed to send music from Google-powered phones to Apple-powered devices.
"Our team has about two years experience developing for connected home systems, including local media server systems and DLNA and AirPlay networks," explained Marshall. "I'd imagine building the Android feature would be extremely difficult for an organisation that didn't come from a background similar to ours."
Difficult, but not impossible.
"What Android users can expect is a very clean way to play music and video from their phone to both DLNA and Airplay devices," he added. "Apple is putting a lot of work into expanding AirPlay support, and I'd expect to see growth in this space — we're already noticing a significant increase in home theatre receivers, iPod docks, and other devices that aren't manufactured by Apple but that do connect to AirPlay networks. This new feature allows Android users an opportunity to get in on this easy-to-use connected home system, playing music and video to systems that sound great."
We agree that the future is rosy for AirPlay. If you thought the iPod speaker dock market was huge over the past 10 years, just wait until the idea of zapping music wirelessly from smartphones and tablets to televisions, speakers and sound systems all over the house becomes similarly mainstream.
The big question: With Apple poised to dominate yet another area of digital music, why is Google sleeping on Fling?
Evolver.fm observes, tracks and analyses the music apps scene, with the belief that it's crucial to how humans experience music, and how that experience is evolving.