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More on Apple TV: Playback services may extend to iPad

Could Lowtide be targeted towards playback on the iPad? That's what indications in the application's Info.plist property list seem to hint at. As TUAW continues to explore the new Apple TV iOS disk image, all kinds of interesting hints keep bubbling out. The property list in question lists two entries for its UIDeviceFamily property.

UIDeviceFamily = (
3,
2
);

In human terms, those numbers refer to both Apple TV (the 3 device family) and the iPad (the 2 device family). As you might guess, the 1 device family includes the iPhone and iPod touch. These device families generally group related physical form factors. All iPods and iPhones use a similar 320x480 base geometry, even though units with new Retina displays physically enhance the addressability of that screen size with more pixels per point.

Click the Read More link to see more about what we've found in the disk image.
Further entries in the Info.plist file show that the Lowtide is set as "Hidden," so its icon does not appear for launching in the normal SpringBoard icon screen. On the iPad, other hidden applications include Apple's DemoApp for retail emplacement, FieldTest to provide live signal strength and cell tower information, WebSheet.app for Web page display outside of Safari, and a few other items.

Because of this setting, Lowtide would probably be run as a silent service, presenting its interface only when its features were requested. The iPad's camera connection kit software works very much in this way, opening only when a DCIM camera is attached. The iPad would likely respond to streaming Airplay requests by opening Lowtide, if a future version of its OS included the application.

Lowtide is set to run in landscape-only mode, which would not be a surprise for a media-intense application -- or for one that's original native presentation is on a physical TV device.

Of course, you cannot simply transfer the file over to your iPad and expect it to work with the current iOS releases. Several supporting frameworks are MIA on the iPad. However, it shouldn't be long before enterprising hackers get some of this working. Already, TUAW reader AriX has gotten Apple TV's airplayd daemon utility running on his iPhone.

Here is a full dump of the Lowtide Info.plist file.

# plusutil Info.plist
{
CFBundleDevelopmentRegion = English;
CFBundleDisplayName = Lowtide;
CFBundleExecutable = Lowtide;
CFBundleIdentifier = "com.apple.lowtide";
CFBundleInfoDictionaryVersion = "6.0";
CFBundleName = Lowtide;
CFBundlePackageType = APPL;
CFBundleResourceSpecification = "ResourceRules.plist";
CFBundleSignature = fnrw;
CFBundleSourceVersion = 1145;
CFBundleSupportedPlatforms = (
iPhoneOS
);
CFBundleVersion = "4.0";
DTCompiler = "4.2";
DTPlatformName = iphoneos;
DTPlatformVersion = "4.1 GM";
DTSDKName = "iphoneos4.1.internal";
DTXcode = 0324;
LSRequiresIPhoneOS = 1;
MinimumOSVersion = "4.1";
SBAppTags = (
hidden
);
UIDeviceFamily = (
3,
2
);
UIInterfaceOrientation = UIInterfaceOrientationLandscapeRight;
iTunesLibraryVersion = "4.0";
}

Keep coming back -- as we find more goodies in the firmware, we'll be sure to let you know.

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