Google Chromecast SDK lets developers super-size their apps for TV

The kit for Android, Chrome OS and iOS is designed for sending mobile apps to the big screen

App developers can now push their software onto a TV screen using a software development kit that Google is introducing for its Chromecast media streaming device.

The SDK, which is being released starting Monday, lets developers port their apps to the Chromecast, a US$35 HDMI dongle that the company released last year for TV and music streaming. A small set of services including YouTube, Netflix and Pandora already work with the device, but the software toolkit might usher in a range of new applications to let people, say, beam a Google Hangout session or their Facebook news feed to a TV.

The toolkit could also boost Google's ability to compete with the Apple TV, which Apple has yet to open up to outside developers.

The SDK will be available on Android and iOS as well as on Google's Chrome operating system through the Google Cast browser extension, the company said.

Developers don't need to create a new app for it to work: The SDK can be incorporated into existing mobile and Web apps to port them to the TV, Google said. In addition, the SDK has a default media player that can be used to play back simple HTML5 content, and more customized options are available using CSS.

Google has already made some sample apps available on GitHub, to show developers how to, for example, send messages from a Chrome desktop browser to a TV receiver, or how to cast videos to the TV from an iOS app.

It's still early to say whether the toolkit will catch on. And some existing apps, such as those for people on the go, may not make sense to stream to a TV. But if developers come up with useful applications, that could help Google incorporate more of its services into people's homes.

Google also demonstrated its interest in people's home data last month when it acquired thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 billion.

Google said the Google Cast extension for Chrome would begin rolling out Monday, along with the SDK for iOS. The Google Cast SDK for Android will be available in a few days as part of the Google Play Services 4.2 update, the company said.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesAppleconsumer electronicsGoogleTVsMusic and audioMedia players / recordersinternetvideo

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?