Friday, July 26, 2013

Airfoil Commander Released!

Airfoil Commander, an Android app that allows you to control Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil (for both Windows and Mac) right from your device, is receiving its inaugural release today. You can find it, as you might expect, in the Google Play Store.

It seems pretty unlikely that you'd be here without knowing what all this means, but just in case, a quick recap! Airfoil allows you to stream audio from most any application on your computer your computer to any AirPlay compatible receiver -- Apple Airport Express(es), Airfoil Speakers, and the like. It's really great. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a bummer having to run to your computer every time you want to turn on or off music to a specific set of speakers. That's where Airfoil Commander comes in!
The Airfoil Commander app on your Android device can talk to Airfoil and get it to do things. Right now, that includes:
  • Connect and disconnect speakers. 
  • Adjust speaker volumes.
  • Change the audio source. Swipe in from the left, or tap the app icon/title at the top left of your screen, to see the list of sources.
  • Display current track info (title, artist, etc.) and remote control (track skipping and play/pause) of supported sources. Supported sources for Windows can be found here; for Mac, here.
Once you've got everything up and running (good for you!), here are a couple less-obvious tips that might be helpful:
  • Turn on Instant On right this instant. Airfoil has a feature called "Instant On". You really want to enable this for all the applications you're planning on streaming from. If it's not enabled, Airfoil needs to ask for your permission to quit and restart the source application, and you can't give that permission from Airfoil Commander. You'll have to run back to your computer. And now we're back to not having fun, which isn't any fun for anyone.
  • Save your speaker passwords in Airfoil. Airfoil Commander has rudimentary support for password-protected speakers -- that is, it knows about them. It will even allow you to try to connect to them, because it likes you! But unless Airfoil has the speaker password saved, the connection won't work. Worse still, you'll again be stuck running back to your computer to dismiss a message. Somewhat better password-protected speaker support is planned for a future release. We shoot for the moon around here.
Hopefully most everything else is pretty straightforward, but please feel free to pepper us with questions. We're also interested in any feedback you might have -- suggestions, what's working, what's not working. So have at it.

And finally, some housekeeping -- it's important, but boring!
  • It bears mentioning, in case it isn't obvious: We are not Rogue Amoeba, and this is not an official app. 
  • Airfoil Commander is Android-only, and works with both Airfoil for Windows and Airfoil for Mac. 
  • Airfoil for Windows has to be v3.6 or later, and Airfoil for Mac has to be 4.8.5 or later. These are the versions that so kindly began paying attention to things yelled at them over the network by other applications. Earlier versions were just rude.
  • If you're an iOS user, check out Airfoil Remote, which is an official app.
  • Airfoil Commander is for Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above only.
Note: This post has been edited from its original incarnation to take into account some changed requirements/details.