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.