updated 01:00 pm EST, Sun January 8, 2012
Samsung SwipeIt gives AirPlay to all Android
Samsung has been slowly building up the presence for its own competitor to AirPlay. New discoveries by Amit Kumar have shown that the ironically titled SwipeIt, a local mobile-to-TV sharing feature, quietly began reaching TVs at the start of the new year. A matching Android app (Android Market) has been built by Movi and went out on January 3, again without much notice, and doesn't require Samsung hardware to work.
The app depends on linking the mobile device to a TV through a TV code and, as the name suggests, making a swipe gesture outwards to share photos and videos. Samsung's approach is considerably more limited and doesn't support audio-only content or, with current knowledge, anything but Samsung TVs and the content that the SwipeIt app can see. Apple's strategy supports audio, non-Apple target devices, and both HTML5 browser video as well as any media a developer chooses to allow for AirPlay.
Samsung may even intend to support iOS in the future, Kumar discovered: the Korean page for SwipeIt shows a setup screen with iOS in view. While he speculates that Samsung is trying to discourage Apple users, it may be more likely that the app is awaiting approval or even being timed for the CES keynote to avoid giving away too many of Samsung's plans.
Despite speculation, Apple isn't necessarily likely to block SwipeIt, since it wouldn't be talking to AirPlay or directly replicating its behavior.
The strategy still shows Samsung hoping to emulate some of Apple's ecosystem by giving an incentive to at least buy a Samsung TV. Samsung often has traces of integration, but usually confined either to generic technologies like DLNA (through AllShare) or small apps like its Android remote control, which is also available for iOS.