Chromecast (image 001)

Google’s inexpensive HDMI dongle dubbed Chromecast offers great value for money. For just $35, users can stream Netflix, HBO GO, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Google Play TV & Movies and more, from their favorite mobile apps and websites right to their big screen TV sets – much like AirPlaying through Apple’s $99 media-streaming box, the Apple TV.

While Google’s been adding new Chromecast content sources, the device’s true potential remained largely untapped because Google would only open up Chromecast to select few developers.

But not anymore. As of today, the official Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK) is available to developers wishing to enhance their iOS and Android apps and websites with Chromecast integration…

The SDK actually launched as a developer preview back in July 2013.

As of today, it is available to everyone. Per Google, the SDK makes it easy to add the Cast button to third-party apps and websites across Android, iOS and Chrome.

The software development kit is available to both iOS and Android developers and on Chrome through the Google Cast browser extension.

All Chromecast devices have already been updated to the latest software with support for the Google Cast SDK. The iOS SDK has just rolled out, with its Android counterpart launching in a few days as part of the Google Play services 4.2 update.


Google Developers Blog explains that programmers are in control of how and when they develop and publish cast-ready apps through the Google Cast developer console.

Here’s a brief video overview of the SDK.

A few notes…

Apps can use either Chromecast’s default media player that can play back HTML5 media content or skin it with their own branding using CSS. More importantly, support for other streaming protocols like MPEG-DASH, HLS and Microsoft Smooth Streaming is possible via custom receiver applications.

The SDK could lend itself nicely to multi-screen games, as indicated by Google’s Rishi Chandra in an interview with CNET:

Gaming is an exciting opportunity for what you can do with Chromecast. It’s exactly the right model. The fact that it works with your iOS phone and Android tablet and Windows laptop is true multiscreen. There’s a lot of potential there.

Go here to download a few sample apps and their source code.

A current list of apps that work with Chromecast is available here.

  • Ben Thorne

    That’s full of win. I’m stoked to see what comes out for chromecast.

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    Queue system wide Airplay Mirroring to Chromecast tweak in 3…2…1…

    • J. Rockwell

      Absolutely! Remember when Airplay was first released by Apple, and you could only use it on a few apps? The AllPlay tweak came to the rescue.

  • Logan

    It’s funny how iOS is getting the SDK before Google’s own OS.

  • Framboogle

    Finally. I haven’t touched that junk since summer.

    • Rowan09

      My friend found one and gave it to me but it’s basically useless unless you purchase another app to stream content from a phone.

      • ButItIsntStreaming

        But it isn’t streaming. That’s the advantage Chromecast has over AirPlay, you just tell Chromecast from your device what you want and then it pulls it from the cloud. You can then proceed to turn off your phone, tablet, or computer, and Chromecast will proceed with whatever you told it to do.

  • Nice! Now I’m going to get this and not a Roku 3 with some of my tax return. Unless you all think I should get both? And no ATV, Roku blows that out of the water!

  • ZeRoLiMiT

    I bought 2 Chromecast. Its nice but without Plex Pass ($35 a year) its useless really. You can’t stream local content and hulu, netflix and others are almost anywhere now. ChromeCast is good if you want to stream Hulu, Netflix and HBOGo on your Tv