After much speculation, Sling stopped by to show us they have indeed been working on a native app for the iPhone, and gave us a quick hands-on with the proof-of-concept. The demo, which also runs on the iPod touch, offers the ability to connect to your Slingbox and control it using the iPhone's touchscreen.
While Sling plans to develop and distribute the software through the iTunes App Store, the demo build we were shown runs on a jailbroken iPhone because of current testing limitations with the iPhone SDK. And since this is in the early stages of development, the demo was limited in function, but from what I saw, it looks like a totally awesome alternative to mobile TV.
Once you connect to your Slingbox, you control channels with an on-screen remote whose buttons scroll horizontally at the bottom of the screen. There's also a scrollbar full of channel icons that provide shortcuts to specific stations. Video ran pretty smooth and looked good over a wi-fi connection. And it goes without saying, but Sling also has their fingers crossed for a 3G iPhone.
While the current proof-of-concept software is using a WMV codec to stream video, Sling is hoping Apple will make its video decoding assets available on the iPhone so they can use that instead. There's no word on an official release date for the application, but for those iPhone owners with Slingboxes, dreams of mobile TV just became an afterthought. [Sling on Giz]