Home iOS: Apple Unveils New Tricks for Background, Video & Audio Apps

iOS: Apple Unveils New Tricks for Background, Video & Audio Apps

Apple is showing off its iOS 4 all week in San Francisco and this evening one session will demonstrate some new audio and video capabilities that developers can incorporate into their apps.

Smart backgrounding and customization are the name of the game. Developer and former Apple employee Dan Burcaw will go on stage to show off the forthcoming version of his Tour de France app and below are some highlights.

Burcaw says that app backgrounding isn’t just the capability to run processes indefinitely, Apple has built effective APIs to efficiently enable the most common features that will run in the background. His app, for example, will show live streaming video of the big bike race. Users will be able to move the app to the background and switch to hearing audio alone. Switch the app back to the foreground and the video feed will resume live again. When audio is running in the background, users will still have access to volume and pause control.

The OS even provides a way to run VOIP in the background.

Controllers will be far more customizable than ever before. Previous versions of the OS have required developers to use Apple’s audio and video players as they came from the company. Now developers can fully customize the controls and play video within any boundary box they define. Burcaw is building a video controller, for example, that lets the viewer scrub to a point in the video based not on time but the slope of the race course. That sounds like a whole lot of fun.

These are just a few of the new capabilities we’ll soon start seeing in iPhone and iPad apps. “I hear people say all the time that there are restrictions on the platform,” Burcaw told us. “There are things you can’t do, but those things are far fewer today than yesterday.”

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