12
Dec
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Google has really been on a roll this week with exciting news for developers, such as a pair of new game-related libraries and enhancements to Google+ Sign-in. This time around, Chromecast is getting its turn with a brand new User Experience Guide. Coming just 2 days after some new apps were added to the whitelist, this 4000-word document details the recommended design patterns developers should follow while implementing their own Android, iOS, and web applications.

sender-cast-icon-available1i-sender-cast-icon-available1w-sender-cast-icon-available1
Left: Android, Middle: iOS, Right: Google Chrome (web)

The guide includes recommended design principles for both the sender and receiver interfaces, where to place buttons, how to start and stop a cast, and what to do during the various states apps might find themselves in during operation. Fortunately, there are a lot of pictures and the document is pretty well laid out in a chronological path from start to finish. Overall, the document is pretty specific about how everything should look and work; but these are still just guidelines and not requirements, so developers can stray from them as they choose, for better or worse.

receiver-ready1

Thus far, the practice of whitelisting apps on Chromecast seems to be mirroring that of Glass. While there still isn't any new information about the current policy, this document is a pretty good sign that the restrictions may be changing or vanishing altogether.

In the meantime, developers interested in working with Time's Gadget of the Year should hit the link below to get all of the details for their own apps. As for regular users, just keep your eyes open because your favorite sources for streaming audio and video might begin sporting that infamous casting icon soon!

Source: Google Developers Site

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • Wyatt Neal

    Come on Chrome browser... get me some Chromecast love!

  • Cole Mickens

    The fact that they will give RealPlayer a whitelisted app, and not devs like Koush is just insulting. I want to like the Chromecast, but it supports a crappy protocol, doesn't support AC3 audio, is not open like the day I bought it (in fact, now does less than the day I bought it).

    Or I can buy a $40 tiny Android box, flash XBMC on it and do everything the ChromeCast can do.

    • Wyatt Neal

      I really think that's the thing they have to break past and probably whey they are doing it slowly. I mean, you and I can do the XBMC, but your mom likely couldn't (maybe she's awesome and can), but in general ... it's got to be mom proof, grandma proof, etc before it's going to take over the living room and phones like they want ... hence the slow roll ... which just cheeses us early adopters.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

        Yup, that's how I see it. There's a lot of potential power here, but it could become a problem if any and every app out there does a gold rush to invade Chromecast. That's why I drew the comparison to Glass. The moment new things come in, a lot of developers try to hit it really hard in the hope of staking their territory before better (or just better funded) developers have a chance to deliver their product.

        • Cole Mickens

          How does removing functionality that shipped with the ChromeCast originally, that is not user visible, can't make anything "go wrong", etc... make this easier for Grandma to use?

          It's basically already designed to be that way. Doesn't matter what's happening on the Chromecast. If you open Netflix and hit the Cast button... it wins - it launches the Netflix app and starts playing, regardless of what receiver app was already running. It's an extremely simple model and disabling "video_playback" on the default app has ... just nothing... to do with ease of use.

          I don't even get the bit about "new developers". New developers were just steamrolled over. Google: "Here, check out this cool thing, build for it" and then promptly ignored nearly every, single developer that flocked to the platform. Instead they've made one off deals with existing Big Media companies.

          Meanwhile, bugs filed against the SDK, even within the first week, have almost completely been abandoned. The December 7-8 event came and went with no new announcement, no new features, no new guidance on when third party apps will be allowed.

          • David Hart

            Recently, el Goog hasn't been making the best choices.

          • Sir_Brizz

            Chances are good this is a game Google is playing to get broadcasters on board. They already made all their mistakes when they launched Google TV. They are doing this one right.

          • Mobile Phones Fan

            Bingo.

            There's a bit more to it, but mollifying the content providers is priority #1.
            .

        • ergu

          Or, a far less bizzare explanation would be that Google, an ad-based cloud-services company, is intent on corralling users into a state of perpetual reliance on its centralized cloud. For profit. You know, that thing that they have to make?

    • Michael Suriel

      In a way, I understand why Google is doing things the way they are. They probably want to make sure that everything runs to a certain standard.

    • David Hart

      This.

    • ergu

      Wow, you have 13 up votes and 13 down votes for saying that you don't like that google reduced the functionality of the device you bought, and there are alternatives to letting google do that to you. Yeah's, that seems like a pretty polarizing statement. It's right up there with who you voted for and the death penalty. Glad to see it makes waves to state what you want a device to do.

      • Cole Mickens

        Whatever. They can downvote me silently without offering a single reason why I'm wrong.

        It's not like I wrote a Chromecast app the first week the SDK was out. Or wrote completely uncontested points about how they removed functionality that the device had WHEN I BOUGHT IT.

        Probably fanbois or something. Or because I dared challenge an AP editor on something? Ain't got no time for that.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          You "challenged" me on something? I think you're blowing this out of proportion.

          If I were to guess, I think people are probably voting you down because of the statement about "removed functionality" without backing it up. I didn't order a Chromecast right away, so I may have missed some of the very early changes. However, I have been following most of the news and confirmed with others; and it sounds like no advertised or promised functionality was ever removed from Chromecast. I think you're conflating "removed" functionality with blocking unintended loopholes.

          You may not see it that way, and I don't blame you since I have a similar feeling about App Ops, which also wasn't intended, but certainly belongs (in some form). From everything I've seen, the only thing that was every truly removed (or "blocked" would be the better word) was the hole that Koush was exploiting. I do take the stance that it should have been left open or replaced with a more robust alternative, but I don't agree with calling it removed functionality.

          • Cole Mickens

            I bought the device, it had an app called "ChromeCast" that had a video_playback functionality.

            Weeks after shipping, this feature was explicitly removed. It was deliberate, intentional and did remove a feature that I explicitly bought the device for because I was TOLD that I would be able to use it for that purpose.

            Mental gymnastics... Maybe don't dismiss someone's experiences when they've actually developed for the platform in question (and was the one that found and was transmitting to ChromeCast and the other sample receiver [before Koush, the bug report and my comment to him on G+ are there for everyone to see])

          • michael interbartolo

            Chromecast was never an advertised function it was a backdoor kluge Koush figured out. when you bought it did Netflix, Google Play, Google Music and Youtube as stated and that has only improved. the fact that an unsupported unofficial feature went away on a $35 device is nothing but whining.

          • Cole Mickens

            >it was a backdoor kluge Koush figured out

            So you also don't know what you're talking about. Okay.

            Fanboy mental gymnastics: inventing facts to make excuses for companies.

            >the fact that an unsupported unofficial feature went away on a $35 device is nothing but whining.

            really? A company says here, buy this device, we want to let people make apps for it and have it be open. Week one reports: unlocked bootloader, video_playback functionality that would allow anyone to cast whatever they want. It worked fine. Then, without reason, or warning, both of these were removed.

            There's not a single good reason to remove it except reasons that you are MAKING UP and don't even make any sense. Just so we're clear.

  • https://google.com/+LateefAlabiOki Lateef Alabi-Oki

    I love Chromecast, but I feel Google should enable, by default, a basic casting function, or API, on all media viewers/widgets, both audio and video, on Android. This way users can automatically cast any video or audio to their TV.

    Of course, for developers that need more functions, like playlist or queue management, they can use the SDK. But for the default media apps like Gallery, Photos, the default media player and viewer, and Google Drive, a basic cast function would go a long way.

  • Josh Crumley

    Democast apk? :p just kidding

  • Quagga

    Or use CheapCast like Quagga does https://github.com/daus-salar/quagga

  • Alex

    I tried Chromecast. Doesn't work for me. It has to be connected to phone's wifi when the phone must be connected to wifi router at the same time to stream inet content. So, this double connection failed after a few seconds and vid was skippy.

  • ClausewitzBro

    Assuming this is anything like normal Android apps, all major players will completely ignore all of these guidelines and just give us iOS 6 ports with a little bit of Gingerbread for added flair.

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