Support for Twonky servers has been included in media-sharing drives for many years. However, until recently, only Windows devices could take advantage of its likeable features. Twonky for Google Android was launched in late 2010, while support for Apple’s iOS (iPhones and iPads) was announced in February. Here, we show you how to get started with Twonky on your smartphone.
Home networking fans may be familiar with Twonky. Support for Twonky servers has been included in media-sharing drives for many years. However, until recently, only Windows devices could take advantage of its likeable features. Twonky for Google Android was launched in late 2010, while support for Apple’s iOS (iPhones and iPads) was announced in February. The Android version is free, while the iPhone app costs $2.99 (£1.84).
Twonky is a universal plug-and-play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA)-compliant service that searches for media stored on devices within a network. More commonly used to push content from a PC to a network-aware hard drive plugged into a TV, the latest version of Twonky allows content to be copied from one device to another and then be pushed to a third for playback. It’s a bit like Windows Media Player’s ‘Play to’ feature that lets you send a downloaded podcast or music album to your Xbox 360 for playback. It also supports Apple’s AirPlay, an over-the-air streaming feature for Macs.
Apple's recently launched iOS 4.3, an incremental update to the iPhone interface, adds some – but not all – of the functionality that Twonky provides. For iPhone 4 users, the ability to play to other devices will be a welcome extension. For users of the 3GS and earlier, third-party apps such as Twonky offer an established and easy-to-use alternative, with the added benefit of working with non-Apple devices and ones outside the usual Mac ecosystem.
Step 1. Download and install Twonky Mobile on your iPhone or Android handset from its app store. A one-time setup routine sees Twonky search for available media devices, request confirmation of which you’d like to use, then display a list of content you can access. Your media is separated into Photos, Videos and Music folders.
Step 2. Click on an item in your Twonky library and you’ll be able to send it to another device on the ad-hoc network. Select an individual item such as a photo or music track and press Beam to send it to another device. You could, for example, have a track play on a network audio player such as a Logitech Squeezebox or a Philips Streamium.
Step 3. You can create a photo slideshow by selecting a whole folder of photos. Choose the images you’d like to stream to a TV or another display, then click the clock icon at the bottom left to choose how quickly slideshow images are refreshed.
Step 4. To play a track or video clip on another device you first need to copy it to your tablet PC or smartphone. Select the device on which the item is stored, browse to the file and click the option to copy it. Now switch from the ‘Play from’ to the ‘Play to’ menu on the main screen and choose the destination device. Track details and album art will display at the bottom left of the Twonky screen.