Google takes Chromecast SDK out of preview

Google takes Chromecast SDK out of preview

Summary: A new Google Play Services release allows makers of Android, iOS, and Chrome OS apps to develop for the US-only media-streaming dongle.


As part of the latest update to Google's Play services framework, the search giant has opened its Cast software development kit (SDK) to developers.

Released in July last year, Google's latest attempt to enter the living room takes the form of an HDMI dongle that is used to stream content to televisions. Launching at the price of $35, the Chromecast is only available officially in the United States.

For developers, the Chromecast works via the use of a sending application on a phone, laptop, or tablet, and the use of a receiver app on the Chromecast that is responsible for transmitting content to the television. Once content is "cast" to the TV, the user is free to continue using their device for other purposes.

Arriving with a preview release of the Google Cast SDK, Google has rung the changes leading up to this release, and completely overhauled the APIs and moved the Google Cast Android API into its Google Play services for Android infrastructure.

Also arriving with today's release is support for adaptive streaming through MPEG-DASH, SmoothStreaming, and HTTP Live Streaming.

The Cast SDK is available for iOS today, a Cast extension for Google's Chrome browser that supports the latest SDK will begin to be distributed to users today, and Android developers will need to wait until Google Play services 4.2 is rolled out to users before they can download and use the latest update to its library, revision 15.

Rather than creating entirely new apps, developers are able to incorporate Cast into existing Android, iOS, and Chrome apps to choose what to stream. On the receiving side, developers have a choice of a default app with Google Cast branding, a receiver styled with CSS, or the ability to create their own custom receiver.

Developers wishing to publish Cast-enabled apps will need to pay a $5 registration fee to use the Google Cast SDK Developer Console.

Topics: Google, Apps, Web development


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • At last!

    Can't wait for more new apps :-)
  • What about Chromebooks? and, uh, the new Asus Chromebox onZDNet today?

    When Chromecast first dropped, the specs said it worked on just about everything . . . Everything, that is, except with the Chromebook, for which it is a natural companion.

    BUT Chromebook functionality for Chromecast was supposed to be "coming real soon now."

    Anybody know if that actually happened?

    I haven't seen anything on the Google/Chromecast official sites, but I haven't combed through all the blogs, either.

    The other annoying glitch about Chromecast Generation 1 was that it didn't work for YouTube, although I recall reading that while--at least right out of the gate--ALL streaming video was somewhat problematic, Netflix DID in fact work. True story? How about Amazon streaming video? Amazon Prime, you know, actually does stream HD at least part of the time, while Netflix NEVER, ever does, the big fibbers.

    The other missing detail for me is whether or not Chromecast is compatible w/ the Kindle, and/or, if so, how smoothly, in as much as Amazon has gone and eliminated the mini HDMI port on the latest and greatest Kindles (Why? To save 39 cents on the hardware?), although there is meant to be some new wireless gimmick to "throw" Kindle content at your TV.

    (Great, yet another wireless protocol to waste hours resetting! Howcome all these developers have yet to realize that while all these wireless do-hickies work just great in their labs where they have unlimited bandwidth, those of us in our livingrooms and bedrooms are subject to the sadistic caprices of Comcast and similar erratic abominations of service providers?)
    (kindly pardon my mini-rant.)

    I'd much appreciate any comments with up to date info on the Chromecast compatibility questions.

    IF Google has the video codec tangles worked out so that Chromecast really work with everything and will actually render anything you can see in your browser window, that's an amazing value for $35 (not to mention lethal for Apple TV).

    Thanks in advance, y'all, for the info.
  • What? You have to pay for the SDK?

    I guess there are worse things, but it's a little disappointing to have to pay just to play around with the SDK...