tvOS 10.2 update requires AirPlay hardware verification, breaks third-party streaming apps...

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 29
Apple's tvOS 10.2 is preventing third-party AirPlay streamers from sending audio to the fourth-generation Apple TV, and it is unclear at this time if the functionality can be restored.




Software such as Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil lost the functionality after the update. Apple is now requiring the Apple TV to require device verification from AirPlay streaming devices -- which can only be provided by Apple hardware.

As a result, Apple hardware using native AirPlay routines are unaffected by the issue. It is unclear if this is an accident, or an intentional change made by Apple to block the third-party utilities. The block remains in the tvOS 10.2.1 beta. The second- and third-generation Apple TV are unaffected, as they have not been updated recently.

Airfoil allows Mac or Windows users to stream any audio source on the host to anywhere in a local network. Besides AirPlay compatible receivers, iOS devices or computers can be targeted for the stream as well, utilizing helper applications. To connect to the fourth generation Apple TV, it uses the now-blocked AirPlay.

A blog post by Rogue Amoeba addresses the issue, saying that the company was researching the problem, and seeing if it could be circumvented in an update to AirFoil. The company recommends that Airfoil users avoid tvOS 10.2, and retain tvOS 10.1.1 as long as possible.

The update to tvOS 10.2 was released for all users on Monday, and includes accelerated scrolling in apps, support for the Device Enrollment Program, and better mobile device management in general. It also offers VideoToolbox, a framework that lets developers tap into hardware-accelerated encoding and decoding.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,356member
    Software that tells the user to avoid the official OS releases puts users in an uncomfortable place -- trying to choose between messaging from the device manufacturer, and that from third party software. I'm not convinced it's a good message to give users, OS updates are in my mind weighted more heavily, especially considering security updates (even if none are apparent in this particular release). 

    Surprised this didnt come up i'm beta testing?

    I'm also dubious that Apple introduced this change just to screw with Rogue Amoeba and the like. It's been my observation that there are almost always solid engineering reasons for the things Apple does, not devious mustache-twirling.  
    edited March 29
  • Reply 2 of 15
    Wy to break some elses software? "Security" or rather insecurity? Someone may start switching to Kodi based boxes if it goes this way.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    uphilluphill Posts: 38member
    AirParrot has issued an update that is compatible with tvOS 10.2. It works OK for my setup.
    magman1979DilirXfreediverxwillcropoint
  • Reply 4 of 15
    [...] I'm also dubious that Apple introduced this change just to screw with Rogue Amoeba and the like. It's been my observation that there are almost always solid engineering reasons for the things Apple does, not devious mustache-twirling.  

    In general I more agree with your sentiment than disagree, but I'd add the qualifier that Apple considers controlling the ecosystem via licensing to be a "solid engineering reason." That's a double-edged sword. On one hand you get a reasonable degree of confidence that security and usability guidelines are observed, but on the other hand the third party may be restricted from providing features and functions that are outside the scope of what Apple provides for in its terms.

    It's the old walled garden argument again. It's safer, but also stifles innovation and flexibility somewhat. As one who doesn't want to spend any more energy on vigilance and housekeeping than absolutely necessary, I tend to prefer accepting the occasional unfortunate outcome like this to having to worry about whether a third-party vendor is actually a bad actor in disguise.
    sockrolid
  • Reply 5 of 15
    uphill said:
    AirParrot has issued an update that is compatible with tvOS 10.2. It works OK for my setup.
    Good. AirFoil and Beamer should follow suit, then.
    unicronDilirX
  • Reply 6 of 15
    fmalloyfmalloy Posts: 48member
    I'm also dubious that Apple introduced this change just to screw with Rogue Amoeba and the like. 
    Sorry, I may be cynical, but I think they are constantly looking to shut down this kind of thing. Ceding any kind of control to any other software/hardware/company is a big no-no. It's treated like jailbreaking.

    Just another Apple control issue - it's their way or the highway.

    It's amazing to me how Apple and their followers' politics work - they don't want government control, they don't want to give up their data...yet it's ok that Apple treats them like mindless puppets.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    unicronunicron Posts: 152member
    I've had nothing but trouble from 3rd party Airplay hardware such as high-end pre-amps and wireless speakers. Glitchy connections (over otherwise fast and stable WiFi), long connect times, and invisible disappearing devices.

    It seems (seemed?) Apple only minimally supported Airplay?
  • Reply 8 of 15
    brifbrif Posts: 4member
    I'm also dubious that Apple introduced this change just to screw with Rogue Amoeba and the like. It's been my observation that there are almost always solid engineering reasons for the things Apple does, not devious mustache-twirling.  
    Yeah, like that time they removed the option to see possible remaining time on battery from all Macs after the internet exploded with reports of new MacBook Pros battery life sucking hard. There was totally a solid engineering reason behind that.

    Apple wants to make sure you can't just press a button in apps like Spotify or Tidal and have your music streamed to AppleTV WITHOUT having to also funnel system audio along with it. ITunes will be your only option. Frankly, that isn't a walled garden approach. That is putting a barbed wire around a vegetable patch (iTunes) and claiming it is better than allowing people access to a real garden.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 11,925member
    unicron said:
    I've had nothing but trouble from 3rd party Airplay hardware such as high-end pre-amps and wireless speakers. Glitchy connections (over otherwise fast and stable WiFi), long connect times, and invisible disappearing devices.

    It seems (seemed?) Apple only minimally supported Airplay?
    Airplay is old and crufty.   I'm likely going to elect "the Highway" versus "our way" unless Apple somehow pulls the rabbit from their hat. I find that I don't use Airplay near as much as I used to because the glitches even on Apple hardware are becoming a nuisance.  

    Soon enough I'll have Sonos which will obviate much of the pain of streaming music.  
  • Reply 10 of 15
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,721member
    fmalloy said:
    I'm also dubious that Apple introduced this change just to screw with Rogue Amoeba and the like. 
    It's amazing to me how Apple and their followers' politics work - they don't want government control, they don't want to give up their data...yet it's ok that Apple treats them like mindless puppets.
    It's convenient that people forget a similar situation to this back when some MP3 player and phone manufacturers would make their devices look like an iPod when connected to a Mac so that they could claim "Mac compatibility" without having to do any of the work (hijacking iTunes' syncing capabilities on Mac instead of writing their own syncing software).

    My guess is that they found hardware manufacturers hijacking Airplay so that they could claim Apple TV compatibility without actually doing any of the work (i.e. creating an Apple TV app to do it).  Sorry, but I have no sympathy for lazy companies who just want to pump out products as cheaply as possible without doing proper R&D.  Pay for the damn engineering.
    lolliver
  • Reply 11 of 15
    zorinlynxzorinlynx Posts: 166member
    fmalloy said:
    I'm also dubious that Apple introduced this change just to screw with Rogue Amoeba and the like. 
    Sorry, I may be cynical, but I think they are constantly looking to shut down this kind of thing. Ceding any kind of control to any other software/hardware/company is a big no-no. It's treated like jailbreaking.


    I don't know about that. Right now we have some ATV3s in our department serving TVs in faculty offices, and we use AirParrot to stream Windows desktops to them. It works really well.

    This capability basically means Apple has sold more ATVs than they otherwise would have, because if AirParrot didn't work we would have bought a different device.

    Given that AirParrot worked around this so quickly, I suspect it's simply just an additional security measure that wasn't being enforced before. I'm surprised Rogue Amoeba didn't catch this in beta testing; I mean this is their bread and butter so they should make sure every release works during the beta phase!
  • Reply 12 of 15
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,721member
    zorinlynx said:
    fmalloy said:
    I'm also dubious that Apple introduced this change just to screw with Rogue Amoeba and the like. 
    Sorry, I may be cynical, but I think they are constantly looking to shut down this kind of thing. Ceding any kind of control to any other software/hardware/company is a big no-no. It's treated like jailbreaking.


    I don't know about that. Right now we have some ATV3s in our department serving TVs in faculty offices, and we use AirParrot to stream Windows desktops to them. It works really well.
    And that's the thing.  Apple is happy to work with companies who take the time to do things the right way and create great products.  All the whining tends to come from those who just want to make a quick buck off their products with minimal investment or care about quality or who they rip off along the way.
    lolliver
  • Reply 13 of 15
    jeromecjeromec Posts: 33member
    Good to see this reported.

    It is functionality reduction and is not even mentioned in tvOS 10.2's release notes.

    I have an Apple TV and like that it just works. I have automatic updates turned on and was happy with that until yesterday.
    I also gave away my 2 old 3rd gen Apple TVs because you usually can do more with the up-to-date version.

    Furthermore, this move makes no sense from a security standpoint (I am aware that I do not have the full context of it, but still)
    you can stream content to an Apple TV via a peer-to-peer connection, and I understand why making pairing mandatory makes sense for that (I xould prefer to be able to fully disable it btw)

    The other way of connecting to an Apple TV is via a local network (wifi or ethernet).
    There is already some security in the form of a WiFi password or a physical cable connection.
    In my home, I do not need additional mandatory security to output audio or video on my TV.
    I do not have password protection on my WiFI-connected printer/scanner either.
    And I would be very upset id such password protection was made mandatory in an automatic firmware update.


    Plus, consider the irony of this : you just have to pair your AirPods to one Apple device and they are automatically paired to all your Apple devices, so that they can work anywhere.
    ... but you now have to pair with a passcode your Apple TV to each of your Apple devices, so that they can work when connected to your home network.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    Since updating my Apple TV keeps bringing up this warning message re. Airplay and verification, if you click OK it takes you to a screen listing the new features and sometimes the OK button there doesn't work. Even if I sleep or move off the AppleTV HDMI it keeps turning the TV back to HDMI 1 with the same message. Last night it even switched the TV on. Anyone else had this issue? I guess I need to do a clean install on it.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,187member
    uphill said:
    AirParrot has issued an update that is compatible with tvOS 10.2. It works OK for my setup.
    Thanks for that.

    I was just about to ask about AirParrot.  I use that for my older, pre Airplay enabled  Macs.   Excellent product and company.  On a side note, it always baffled me why are my older Macs unable to use Airplay when they work just fine with AirParrot? I'm sure there is a good reason .... 

    Meanwhile I'd suggest Rogue Amoeba try testing the developer betas sooner next.
    edited March 31
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