Chromecast is one of the most innovative gadgets in 2013. It makes it easy to enjoy contents in a large screen at an affordable price of $35.
But what holds most enthusiasts from ordering the device is that only limited apps are supported before the Google Cast SDK is open to public. Only selected partners (e.g., Hulu, HBO, Plex…) are allowed to release apps with Chrome cast support.
The Google Cast SDK (it is branded as Google Cast in most situations, although the product name is still Chromecast) was initially for preview only: developers are not allowed to release their apps per the terms.
This week, Google finally officially open the Google Cast SDK to the public. All developers now can make their apps work with Chromecast officially.
This brings infinite opportunities for our Chromecast, and for our mobile devices
We will see more and more apps work with Chromecast. For example, if you want to stream local contents to a TV, currently, you have to use Chrome browser (with Google Cast extension) in a laptop or a PC (you may refer to this guide if you still want to know how to do it). But since the Google Cast SDK opened the door to developers, playing local media is no longer an issue. Essentially, the developer may just slightly modify the media player, then you can stream any media to TV through Chromecast.
The main advantages of Chromecast over other screen sharing solutions (e..g., Miracast) include:
- Cheap. A Miracast dongle will normally cost $50-$100.
- Multitasking. When streaming (or casting) with Chromecast, you can do something else on your devices. While Miracast mirrors your display and therefore you cannot do anything else on your device.
- Hardware independent. Chromecast works through apps, and as long as the app is supported in your device, Chromecast works. But for Miracast, it need hardware and system support. For example, Miracast is supported in Android Jelly bean 4.2 and later versions, but some vendors may disable this function due to hardware limitations, for example, Moto G does not support wireless display although the OS (Android KitKat 4.4) is current. iOS and Windows Phone have no Miracast support up to now.
Anyway, publicly releasing the Google Cast SDK is a good news for all Chromecast owners. In next one or two weeks, we will see more and more apps have Chromecast support.
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