Google to challenge Apple with 'open' AirPlay standard

Google to challenge Apple with 'open' AirPlay standard

Summary: Google is working on an open alternative to Apple's AirPlay wireless streaming technology, which the company wants to use to link Android devices to Google TV devices.

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21-11-2012 18-00-06

One of the strengths of Apple's iOS devices is AirPlay, a technology that enables the wireless streaming of audio, video, and photos between devices. Now Google has its eyes on this market, and is working on an open alternative to Apple's proprietary protocol.  

Speaking to GigaOM, Google product manager Timbo Drayson admitted that Google has its sights set on the space and plans to pursue it aggressively.

"We really want to move the whole industry forward," said Drayson, before going on to say that Google is "actively working with other companies" to make this into an open standard that could be used on a number of platforms.

See alsoHow Apple makes products difficult -- and expensive -- to repair

Google's primary motivation for developing this protocol is likely to be to enable content sharing between Android smartphones, tablets and Google TV devices.

But Google's plans go beyond simply streaming content. According to Drayson, the protocol that Google is working on allows for data to flow in both directions, which would "enable developers to build second-screen experiences that correspond to what’s happening on live TV" and for the "beaming content from your laptop to your TV screen".

While Apple's AirPlay is the best-known wireless streaming technology, it wasn't the first. The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) is a collaborative established by Sony in 2003 that enable the sharing of media such as music, photos and videos between devices such as computers, TVs, printers, cameras, and cell phones.

Topics: Google, Android, Smartphones, Tablets

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34 comments
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  • What "Google TV" devices

    Not one single device with Google TV has being successful.

    So what "Google TV" devices are they talking about??
    wackoae
    • The Logitech Revue more than likely.

      Of course, DLNA is SOOOO much better than AirPlay (so we have been told over and over) so what is the point of this?
      Bruizer
      • Oh naive one...

        Bruizer, Airplay's screen sharing doesn't exist in DLNA but, Movie and Music streaming does work better over DLNA.
        slickjim
      • the same thing came to my mind

        but DLNA is not an open standard- it has licensing fees. having a solid open standard would be nice.
        theoilman
        • DLNA...

          May not be free but it is widely supported. Most Android and Windows Phone phones already support it, and as long as you have a TV on the same network as the phone you already can stream stuff from the phone to the TV. Or from a PC (with Windows 7 or 8) to the TV.

          And, unlike Apple's solution, it doesn't any extra hardware if you already have a WiFi network at home and a TV that can use it.
          CarlitosLx
        • open standard

          I have yet to see one single example of technology, developed by Google, that is open standard. Google may be using open source and open technologies, but all these things go IN Google's products, and nothing comes out. Just like a black hole.

          Let's hope, this will be the first example.
          danbi
      • I as for a SUCCESSFUL device

        Logitech already said very loudly that Google TV was garbage and the reason why the Revue was a total failure.
        wackoae
        • as for your claims...

          Wackoae The Logitech had a lot of problems and blaming Google was a weak way out!

          They gave it less storage and RAM than any other planned G TV device, they used an Atom Processor instead of an Arm so Apps were limited at best... The keyboard was really flimsy and not worth a ton of money.

          Yes the original was Honeycomb 3.0 and flakey but believe me, the unit was not all Google's failing.

          Right now, I will use my G TV more than my Apple TV because it can do more ands has more choices.
          slickjim
    • Perhaps a few hundred million in the not too distant future

      Try to polish up your crystal ball a bit, based on some of Google's technologies and initiatives that were ridiculed at first, and have gone on to do very nicely, thank you.

      Not much of a visionary, are you?
      D.T.Long
    • Oh here we go again...

      Perhaps you should look up Miracast as you might be surprised to find that the standard already exists and is being pursued heavily by major industry leaders.

      For the record, Miracast is built in to Android 4.2 and some functionality already exists in Google TV 2 with full implementation being given in Google TV 3.

      The software is awesome because it works at the App level and not just the screen sharing level. Yes Airplay has some of this too but, it is very limited.

      So, when you guys want to Mock Google for this, remember, most Google TV devices will get this feature without buying the latest model (unlike Airplay).
      slickjim
      • So what does Miracast has to do with the fact

        that there are not one single successful device using GoogleTV ??
        wackoae
        • Seriously?

          None huh? If Google TV sucked so bad, why are we seeing TVs being released with it installed?

          If Sony had no success with Google TV then why are they about to make their second Bluray player with it built in? And their 3rd Google TV Box?

          Just because you don't like Google that doesn't mean they stink.

          As for Logitech, it was a Gen 1 projects and the G TV 2 software has actually improved it greatly.
          slickjim
  • Freudian slip maybe?

    "to make this into an open standard that could be sued on a number of platforms."
    Little Old Man
  • AirPlay is a standard?

    No it isn't, not by any accepted definition of the word.

    AirPlay is a protocol, not a standard.
    toddbottom3
    • distinction without a difference

      ((( "AirPlay is a protocol, not a standard." )))

      Because of Apple's enormous popularity in music devices, the AirPlay protocol has become a de facto standard. Feel free to pick semantic nits to your heart's desire, however.
      buddhistMonkey
      • Agreed

        Just like Microsoft's Office protocols are defacto standards. However, a true standard should be completely defined and open.
        benched42
        • agreed

          Ranting about Airplay (yea I wish one standard worked EVERYWHERE) is silly. It IS the same as MS Office. A company does something that everyone who uses it loves, then people complain because that said company doesn't give away their innovative use/innovative programming to the COMPETITION so those complainers can have that said feature in THEIR product, giving nothing for compensation to the people who thought of said use in the first place.

          This is business 101. Yea, in a perfect world, all the companies would work together to give us the best solution for the cheapest price (free) out of the goodness of their hearts. If Apple opensourced all their best ideas and gives what makes people who love Apple love them, to everyone else....why would anyone pay for their products when Google gives it to you below cost, since they will data-mine the living crap out of you and sell your information for a ton of cash?

          Just like MS Office. It IS the de facto standard and everyone pays the MS tax to have it. Face it, if you have the choice between free Open Office or free MS Office, which would you pick? MS Office because it's "better". You use Open Office because you are cheap, poor, or simply don't like MS.

          Airplay is the best known (and probably most widely used) streaming technology in mobile devices right now, making it kind of the de facto standard. How many of those millions of Android users know how to set up DLNA so their stuff streams right? I bet not that many except maybe for the readers here haha. I bet most Apple users can figure out how to push that little button to use Airplay.
          Stormborn
      • quite so

        www.thefreedictionary.com/protocol

        All protocols are standards even if not widely used. By their very nature, being a predefined set of rules TCP/IP is a standard without which we couldn't do this.

        I totally agree about semantic nitpicking, what we have come to expect from toddy, his standard, (he would call it a a protocol, if anyone referred to it as a standard)
        thetracybros
      • Apple is garbage...

        How could anything be considered a standard when it is so limited. At best airplay is an Apple standard. And since Android has 75% global market share to 15% for Apple, I'd say nobody gives a hoot about Apple anymore.
        larryvand
        • and if Google/Android copies Apple....does that make them crappier?

          If it's such garbage, why is EVERYONE, Google being the worst (with Android), copying everything Apple does? I don't like how closed Apple is but they make GOOD stuff, albeit limited. Google blatantly copied the iPhone OS with Android. Don't bother arguing that, they look damn close, with some minor cosmetic differences (yea droids let you do more stuff with them).

          Now, they are going to copy AirPlay and make it open standard (- meaning free to Google, presumably with ad revenue somehow built in....). Apple has had it for a while now and it works beautifully, even with full 1080p HD video/sound over wifi. Yea, it doesn't do what Google or some random techie want it to do but for what it is intended to do, it works GREAT. So, you call Apple garbage, and laud Google/Android, when Android is a copy of Apple and the Ultrabook was made to....again copy Macbooks 9just with Windows). Hmmm, what's worse than garbage? Maybe Google and MS (copying the ipad with Windows RT and the Windows App Store) are just offal, huh.

          I am totally for good arguments, it's just most of you fanboys of one or the other don't have any. "They suck and are garbage!!!" isn't an argument by the way.....
          Stormborn