iPhone app climbs Apple's 'walled garden' to display photos on TiVo

DVRPics is a new application for iPhone and iPod touch that enables you to stream photos to a networked TiVo so that they can be viewed on the TV.

Currently only one photo can be selected at a time — a limitation the app’s developer blames on Apple, since third-party developers aren’t given direct access to the iPhone’s photo library. However, a version of DVRPics that supports photo slide shows is next on the app’s road map. The app costs 99 cents from the iTunes AppStore (iTunes link).

Interestingly, DVRPics isn’t the only TiVo-related app for the iPhone. After a quick search I discovered an app called DVR Shows (iTunes link) that enables you to see what recordings are stored on your TiVo via an iPhone or iPod touch, including full program details. Unsurprisingly, you can’t actually stream those recordings to the iPhone or even use the iPhone as a TiVo remote a la iTunes or the recently released iPhone app for Sonos.

Apple’s ‘walled garden’

The workarounds and limitations of both apps reinforce the need for Apple (and TiVo) to become members of the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and support industry standards for sharing media around the home. As I noted in my recently published guide to DLNA goodness:

Missing in action is a major player like Apple, a company that has done more than most to simplify our digital lifestyles but whose ‘walled garden’ approach to digital media is apparent in its lack of UPnP AV support.

Unless Apple has an unlikely change of heart and decides to support the DLNA’s UPnP AV or similar standards for sharing media between devices, developers will be forced to to climb walls, with limited success.

See also: DLNA certified: how your computer, cellphone, games console, media streamer and other devices can play nicely together

Image credit: TiVo Community

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last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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