AirWeb: The Apple TV Web Browser

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Indeed, Apple TV seems to have a few oddities that occur after an AirPlay Mirroring session. I found Netflix to have some odd behavior that necessitated restarting to remedy. It may be a good idea to restart your Apple TV after using AirWeb. This seems to be Apple’s fault, and not AirWeb’s. AirWeb is just sending graphics to Apple TV, but in certain use cases, this causes Apple TV to eventually become unstable. Apple TV doesn’t crash, but it can have some odd behaviors. For example, I was watching Netflix and the video jumped. This never happened before, and after restarting Apple TV, it never happened again.

hold Down and Menu for six seconds to restart Apple TV

Hold down the bottom select button and menu button on your Apple TV remote for six seconds (until the light flashes rapidly) to restart.

The instability may have surfaced because I was testing AirWeb and really putting it through its paces. I was multitasking and repeatedly turning Mirroring and AirPlay on and off. With normal use, I haven’t experienced any issues.

The AirWeb developers are quite transparent about defects and list them on their support forum. Users can also suggest features for future releases. I have little doubt that AirWeb will improve in quality and functionality.

Compatibility

AirWeb is compatible with the iPad 2 (or later), iPad Mini (or later), iPhone 4 (or later), and the iPod Touch 5G. It is optimized for the iPhone 5. Since the iPhone 4 does not support AirPlay screen mirroring, AirWeb requires an HDMI dongle to work. It will work over HDMI with any compatible device, which is handy if you don’t have an Apple TV. Like many new apps, AirWeb requires iOS 7. I tested AirWeb with iOS 7.1.1.

AirWeb Tips

turn on AirPlay screen mirroring

You can play music and surf the web at the same time with AirWeb. First, turn on AirPlay Mirroring. Next, play some music. I tried this with iTunes Radio (the Music app). Finally, start AirWeb and enjoy surfing the web. The music will play through your TV or Apple TV-connected audio system.

If you have an older device, you may notice audio drop-outs if you scroll too fast. If this is the case, just take it easy when scrolling. After all, playing music and surfing the web over AirPlay Screen Mirroring really pushes your device to the max, especially if it is an older device.

If you have a plasma TV, make sure to turn on Auto-Lock in order to prevent your screen from burning in. AirWeb doesn’t have a screen saver, and Apple TVs screen saver doesn’t kick in when using Mirroring. You can turn on Auto-Lock by tapping Settings > General > Auto-Lock.

Is AirWeb Worth it?

Despite a few small flaws, AirWeb is definitely worth using. I use it every day. It’s a great way to surf the web on your HDTV. Even on my modest flat screen, I am able to read Google News. I don’t strain my neck by staring down at my tablet or shifting my gaze between my tablet and TV.

For $1.99, this app is well worth it, despite a few issues. This app will likely improve over time and offer more features. I think it is a steal for less than $2. I would have paid $5 for it, however, now that I see that it still needs a little work, $1.99 seems fair. It is very useful, but it won’t replace Safari for single-screen use. I highly recommend AirWeb to anyone who has an Apple TV and compatible iOS device. Even if you don’t have an Apple TV, this app can be used over HDMI. AirWeb is useful for doing presentations. For the price, it’s hard to beat AirWeb.

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