Since its release on July 24, 2013, Google’s Chromecast has been one of the easiest and least expensive ways to enjoy video and audio from a portable device on your television. All you need to do is connect the dongle to an HDMI port on your TV and you’ll be ready to cast from just about any device you can think of including Android tablets, smartphones, iPhones, iPads, and any computer with the Chrome browser.
Up until now, one of the few complaints from consumers has been the lack of available apps that are compatible with the Chromecast. The original Chromecast apps (Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Google Play, VEVO and Google Chrome) all work flawlessly but people have been asking for more since the first day Chromecast was available. Google has slowly been adding more compatible apps like HBO GO, Red Bull.TV, Songza, Plex, PostTV, Viki, and RealPlayer Cloud; but consumers are not yet satisfied.
Thankfully, Google has listened to these concerns and announced earlier today that they are opening the Chromecast software development kit to the public. What this means is that any app now has the potential to enable a cast button that will allow us to mirror our devices to the TV. Popular streaming applications like Spotify, Stitcher, Tunein, and others will most likely be available for Chromecast as soon as developers work out the specifics.
Huge potential for Chromecast integration lies in the gaming sector which has been rapidly gaining popularity on mobile devices. If developers are able to mirror gameplay on the television screen at the same speed it is displayed on handheld devices, the future of gaming will be shaped forever. The television could also possibly be used as a second screen to enhance gameplay or even as a main screen while your phone acts as the controller.
Another arena that may benefit from opening the Chromecast SDK to developers is video communication tools. As apps like Skype, FaceTime, and Hangouts have begun to replace the way we make phone calls, they have become common fixtures in our homes. Using these applications on a big television screen will take the experience to a whole new level and may also lead to manufacturers embedding cameras into future TV designs.
Personally, I can’t get enough of Chromecast and I use it on a regular basis. It has replaced the way I consume media and if it weren’t for my addiction to sports I wouldn’t have any problem canceling my cable subscription. I look forward to casting apps where I pay a premium for the ability to stream live audio and video content (MLB, NFL) onto my television. Until then, I’ll be waiting for the flood of compatible apps that is sure to come soon.
How about you? What apps are you looking forward to cast?