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Google opened Chromecast to developers, announced SDK; Now can I play local content?

Google has finally released the SDK for Chromecast which will allow 3rd party developers to stream content to the living room via Chromecast. The living room is going to get more exciting!

The launch of Google’s Chromecast was a huge success, it was the hottest device at that time – and I am pretty sure it still is. However dark cloud hovered over the device and the open source community got concerned that this may be a ‘closed (as in non-free)’ Google device, when Koushik Dutta of CyanogenMOD tried to reverse engineer it and tried to play local content via Chromecast.

Google had strictly asked developers to refrain from using the developer preview of the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK) to built apps as things might break. Google made some changes and it broke Koush’s app – a storm brew up in a tea cup, once again, questioning the ‘open-ness’ of the app.

It was assumed that Google was positioning Chromecast as a streaming device and was focusing on getting content providers for it before it engage developers to add support for their apps. Now when Google has succeed in getting a long list of content providers to bring their content on Chromecast, the company is opening the device to developers.

Today Google has released Google Cast SDK for “developing and publishing Google Cast-ready apps,” as John Affaki says on a company blog.

John further adds, “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. You are in control of how and when you develop and publish your cast-ready apps through the Google Cast developer console. The SDK is available on Android and iOS as well as on Chrome through the Google Cast browser extension.”

In order to help developers Google has published some open source sample apps on GitHUB.

Google has already updated all Chromecast devices to the latest software so that it can work with the SDK. The company will start updating its extension for Chrome browser (and OS) today.

Jonh says that th”Google Cast SDK for Android will be available in a few days as part of the Google Play services 4.2 update, which is currently rolling out to Android devices. The Google Cast SDK for iOS is available starting today.”

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So, can I now play local videos stories on my device to Chromecast? Well technically there are some apps which already allow that such as RealPlayer, Plex and some more – unfortunately they all have some restrictions – RealPlayer wants you to upload your private video to their servers to be able to play on Chromcast and Plex wants you to buy a $3.99 (per month) Plex Pass to access the feature. I hope the situation will change with the arrival of the SDK.

Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

4 Comments

  1. And still I don’t see any advantage over DLNA…

    • If you wait…Geez, they suck if they do, and they suck if the don’t. Can people simply wait and see what the app developers get to do with this instead of complaining?

      • Is there any point in app developers using a closed protocol like Chromecast while there are already so many DLNA enabled devices out there, though? ;)

  2. When you say ‘closest,’ do you mean ‘closet’?

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