Google posts Chromecast development kit for third-party apps

Third-party app builders for Chromecast will need to get Google's approval before distributing their wares, however

By , IDG News Service |  Software

Using a downloadable app, the user's computer or mobile device can send commands, Web addresses and content to the Chromecast device. Chromecast, which connects to the Internet via a home Wi-Fi network, then renders the video onto the television, by streaming it from the Internet or from the user's device. If the material to be viewed is on the user's device, Chromecast transfers it using the Websocket protocol. While Chromecast controls the television, users are free to multitask on other tasks, such as checking email.

Google promises that adding Google Cast support to existing applications can in many cases take less than 200 lines of code.

The Google Cast API provides capabilities such as authentication and a set of controls for starting, stopping and pausing content. It includes a way to pass text messages to the receiver and to receive responses to status requests.

Chromecast applications can be built for Android, Apple iOS devices and any desktop and laptop computers that can run the Chrome browser -- desktop apps are created by embedding them into Chrome as an extension. Applications can also be developed to run on the Chromecast device itself, though the client portion of these apps must be Web applications -- built on HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

To get its Chromecast application whitelisted by Google, a development shop must submit various bits of information, including contact information, a description of the app being developed, and the serial number and MAC address of the Chromecast device being used for development.

On their own, Chromecast devices are not set up to support development work such as debugging, though a development mode can be enabled that can provide technical information about Chromecast and its operations. Debugging receiver apps can be done through the Chrome developer tools package.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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