ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY VENDOR Google has announced the final piece of the puzzle in the rollout of its Chromecast media streamer.
On its developer blog Google explained that it's upgrading Android phones and tablets with a new version of Google Play Services , the background framework that drives its entertainment services including video streaming and online gaming.
The latest upgrade to Google Play Services 4.2 delivers API support for Chromecasting to TVs, opening the way for the developers to incorporate Chromecast buttons into their apps.
Until now the Chromecast ecosystem has been a walled garden with service limited to Google apps such as Youtube and Play Music along with a few select partners including Netflix and Vevo. This update paves the way for hundreds of Chromecast apps, including several such as video streaming site Viki, which has been ready for Chromecast for some time but was stalled by the lack of this API.
Earlier this month, Google published the Chromecast Software Development Kit (SDK) and API for desktop PCs, meaning that Chrome developers could begin working on their apps.
This move was crucial for Google because the lack of compatible apps meant that rival systems such as Allcast and Miracast could threaten Chromecast sales growth, with both competitors offering screen mirroring out of the box and several manufacturers including Sony and Belkin releasing new devices.
Google Play Services 4.2 also includes an API for Google Drive, which first appeared as a developer preview in the previous edition but has now graduated to a mature cloud service. µ