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Google Invites Developers To Build Chromecast TV Apps

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The amount of media content available on Chromecast is set to increase, but no information on the UK launch yet

Google has released a Software Development Kit (SDK) for its Chromecast TV dongle, enabling developers to add streaming support to their mobile apps and websites.

The company hopes the SDK will rapidly increase the amount of media content available on the platform, six months after it was launched.

“The Google Cast SDK is simple to integrate because there’s no need to write a new app. Just incorporate the SDK into your existing mobile and web apps to bring your content to the TV,” explained John Affaki, engineering manager for Google Cast.

All Chromecast devices have been updated to support the new developer tools. Chromecast SDK is already available for iOS, is currently rolling out for Chrome browser, and will be available on Android “in a few days” as part of the Google Play 4.2 update.

The device itself is not currently available in the UK, but can be imported from the US. Several Google executives previously mentioned plans for international expansion of the Chromecast programme, so a local launch could be announced soon.

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Chromecast was launched in the US in July 2013, aiming to compete against Apple’s similar AirPlay product.  The £23 dongle connects through an HDMI port and allows users to stream content from their tablet, smartphone or laptop to their TV.

yt-chromecast-mobileWhile content is playing, a user can multitask on their mobile device without interrupting the video playback on the big screen.

Chromecast launched with support for commercial services including YouTube, Google Play, Netflix and Pandora. As a beta feature, some users could also stream Chrome browser tabs. Now, it looks like Google is ready to add hundreds, maybe even thousands of new media sources to the platform.

Once developers integrate the SDK, apps compatible with Chromecast will feature a special ‘cast’ button on top of the screen. They can either use the default media player, capable of playing back HTML5 content, or build their own custom receiver application with additional options and extended protocol support

As usual, the company has released a list of user experience guidelines and a design checklist which developers will have to comply with in order to earn the “Google Cast Ready” badge.

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