Popular open source video and audio player software VLC will add support for Apple’s AirPlay streaming feature soon, according to statements given by the app’s development team to Variety.
VLC also provided the following statement to The Verge to comment on the timeline and clarify some specifics of the AirPlay rollout:
Just like with Chromecast, we intend to support AirPlay on any platform. There is no release date yet at all. We would like it to be part of VLC 4, which is the next major release we are currently working on. We will let you know in advance once we define a date.
The VLC development team added support for Chromecast, Google’s AirPlay equivalent, in 2018. Apple has sometimes offered AirPlay on non-Apple devices before—on the Sonos One for example—but this year’s CES has been marked by some notable expansions, particularly in televisions. Many new televisions from Samsung, LG, and others will now support AirPlay and some Apple services.
The addition of AirPlay to VLC’s Android app will make streaming content from Apple devices to Android ones easy for those who use the app. The VLC team will also expand VR support in the future. Specifically, they demonstrated the ability to watch 2D movies in a virtual theater while wearing the HTC Vive at its CES booth this week.
According to Variety, the “team reverse-engineered most VR headsets to natively support VR video through the main VLC app” because using the SDKs provided by the headset makers would increase the file size of VLC Media Player by hundreds of megabytes. The solution VLC came up with instead added only one megabyte to the app’s size.
Additionally, VLC is on the verge of surpassing three billion user downloads. The development team celebrated with a countdown clock at its CES booth, and the three billion milestone is expected to be reached sometime today. The team noted that mobile downloads account for about a quarter of that number.