In the race for living-room supremacy, there is no denying Google’s Chromecast is a major player. The non-intrusive $35 dongle that allows users to “cast” video from phones, tablets, and browsers onto any HDMI capable TV has served up more than 1.5 billion video streams since its release in 2013. Part of that success is due largely to the simplicity of the user experience. When media is cast-enabled, a Cast button loads with the content. Tapping it brings up a dialogue listing nearby cast ready devices and selecting one instantly throws the content on the screen – transforming your mobile device into a remote.
Like many platforms and technologies, we were early adopters of Chromecast, enabling it for some of the biggest brands and TV everywhere experiences in the world. While Chromecast has a great end-user experience, we struggled a little with the initial implementation. In the pioneering days of Chromecast, Google was a great partner, but they were still so focused on making sure the technology was flawless that the tools and documentation for the folks trying to build cast-enabled apps left a lot to be desired.
We’re happy to say that is no longer the case. With the introduction of the Google Cast SDK v3, Google not only made a commitment to make every audio and video content delivery app cast capable, but it is clear Google heard the pain points of partners like Bottle Rocket and made a real investment in the tools and documentation to help ensure mutual success. Here are just a few of the major improvements Cast SDK v3 has over its predecessors:
- Engineers write significantly less code leading to faster time to market and less maintenance on deployed apps.
- The API is now unified across Android and iOS. Google recognizes the importance of making casting work just as well on Apple and desktop devices as on Android phones and tablets.
- Out-of-the-box UI widgets are available to keep the apps compliant with the latest and greatest platform UX guidelines. This translates to faster approvals when submitting cast-enabled apps to the store.
- Physical volume buttons just work when they are available on a particular device.
- Auto-discovery of cast devices, built-in session management, and auto-reconnect all come together to make the newest version of cast enabled apps the most robust streaming experience we’ve seen.
Chromecast is no longer a roadmap feature for brands. It is something that can realistically be implemented for day one of your app launch.
Bottle Rocket’s AWE platform enables TV everywhere experience for dozens of big cable and network brands. Working as one of the few Google certified agencies, we have the experience and know-how to get your content casting in no time. Whether you are just beginning the search for an app developer or looking to expand your mobile experience to the big screen, contact our team of experts today.