One of the functions that seems to be missing from the Apple TV, or at least one that would be extremely great to have is the ability to see your browser on your television. Sometimes it’s nice to have that information on the big screen so that everyone in the room can see it. Also great would be the ability to see maps, Facebook photos, and documents.
There are a few different iOS apps that help with some of that or does the job in pieces, but there is one that helps with all of that, TVOut Genie. It’s a handy little app that can lend a hand when you need it, even if it doesn’t always work the way you might expect it to.
Opening up TVOut Genie, it connects you through your Facebook account. Once connected, it gives you a small Home page with small apps within an app. There is also an On/Off toggle button. For some reason, this automatically resets back to Off after the use of every application, so in between, you always have to come back and reset to On.
The browser works the same as any basic browser. It opens with a Google search, has a URL bar at the top, and also allows you to set favorites. Depending on your television screen, you’ll be able to see all or most of the browser. I played around with the widescreen and normal capabilities on my television and still couldn’t see the URL bar on the screen, but could see the entire thing on my iPad. Regardless, I still had to type it on my iPad anyway, so I could watch it that way, but see the results on the TV.
There is also a Maps function. If you are with a group of people and want to show them where something is located, you can search and display it here, just like with the Google Maps on your iOS device. It doesn’t have directions, but you can pan in and out so that you can show others who are viewing it with you where a certain location is.
The Facebook app in TVOut Genie only shows your photos, but works great if you want to show your photos to a group of people on a larger screen than your iOS device. Additionally, if you want to see more of Facebook than just your photos, you can access that in the regular browser feature. There is also a Photos app that accesses your photos on your device, but it doesn’t work well, and you can do even better than that with Photo Stream on the AppleTV. There is also a camera function that doesn’t snap pictures, but works as a live camera if you’re trying to show action on a larger screen.
Another item you might want to show to a larger audience is a document or .pdf you have received via email. These can be viewed the same way you use the Share button to send documents and .pdfs to Pages, iBooks, etc. Clicking on the Share button will display a list of available apps, including TVOut Genie. Clicking on it it displays the document, provided you have made sure the Toggle switch is set to On, on your television via the Apple TV. Additionally, there is a Notes feature, which works best if you access it, type the note, then open it up on Apple TV.
TVOut Genie is by no means the perfect app and does have its performance problems; however, it does the job and seems to be the only app out there that can. To show your browser, a map, or a document to others in a room, it helps prevent everyone being crowded around an iPhone or iPad to watch a small screen. They can view it easily on an Apple TV-enabled television set.