The $35 Google Chromecast has had a bit of a chequered history in its relatively short six-month lifespan. While the device offered streaming video and audio capabilities previously seen only in far more costly accessories, the list of officially supported services has always been quite sparse. At first this looked like it would be only a minor inconvenience, as the device was promptly rooted and given some nice aftermarket developer love. But that root exploit was promptly closed off in a forced OTA update, leaving unrooted Chromecast owners SOL.
During the Chromecast’s tenure occupying our valued HDMI slots, we’ve seen a few solutions appear that enabled local media playback. However, the underlying method these tools used was unfortunately closed off. Then some time ago, a handful of additional apps were released with support for the Chromecast. And not too long after that, Google got off of its lazy rear and added support for Play Music and Play Movies from the Web. We even caught a few hints that official first-party Android mirroring would be coming to Google’s little media streamer. But for many, all of these advancements are unfortunately not enough.
Now, Google has taken the first true steps in making the Chromecast a bit more open, thanks to the public release of the Google Cast SDK. The SDK allows you to create a “sender application” for Android, iOS, or Chrome, as well as a “receiver application” that can be implemented in the style of your choosing.
Developers looking to get started with Chromecast app development should head over to the Google Cast SDK release page to learn the basics. From there, head over to the Developer Guide, register your device appropriately, and start coding. A list of supported APIs can be found here.
So, what about end users? Well, now it’s simply a waiting game for more powerful Chromecast apps to appear. We’re glad to see development for the Chromecast open up a bit, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for this little media streamer. What are your thoughts on the Chromecast? Share in the comments below, and don’t forget to make your way over to the Google Chromecast forum!_________