One of the reasons why people buy Apple TV set-top boxes is because they allow them to AirPlay content from an iOS device to a big screen TV, apart from the fact that the set-top box offers a wide variety of content sources. Having an Apple TV hooked up to a TV is the easiest way to mirror the iOS device’s screen, and it wouldn’t be too bad if this worked the other way around. Perhaps that might happen in the future because Apple has gone ahead and patented reverse AirPlay, which basically means mirroring whatever is on the Apple TV to an iOS device.
As far as the hardware itself is concerned it was rumored that this year Apple is going to release a refreshed version of the Apple TV but it didn’t. Now it is suggested that in 2015 a new Apple TV will be released which will bring some major upgrades for the set-top box.
On paper, reverse AirPlay makes a lot of sense. Having the ability to mirror content being played on an Apple TV to an iOS device would be a welcome addition to this set-top box’s feature set. Though it is likely that content providers might have to sign off on this feature first before they start supporting it.
As is the case with all patented technologies we can’t really be sure when it will be implemented. Since this isn’t as far-fetched as some patented technologies, it would be a good bet to assume that reverse AirPlay might see the light of day a year or so from now.