Google unlocks Chromecast with new SDK for third-party apps

yt-chromecast-mobileIt’s open season for Chromecast apps.

Google released its Google Cast Software Development Kit today. The SDK allows developers to create new apps for the company’s $35 streaming video dongle, which plugs into TVs via the HDMI port. Developers will be able to give users the ability to send content from an iOS, Android or Chrome app to the Chromecast, much like what’s currently offered by existing apps like YouTube and Netflix.

It’s a key move for Google, which is looking to extend the value of its budget streaming device. Although users can send content from open Chrome browser tabs to the Chromecast, one of the Chromecast’s weakest points is its relative lack of content compared to more mature offerings from Roku and Apple, as well as Microsoft’s efforts with the Xbox One. With rumors of an Amazon set-top box swirling, Google is looking to build an even greater advantage for its platform beyond the Chromecast’s bargain-basement price.

The company seems to be pinning its hopes on creating an open platform that’s a playground for developers, rather than trying to restrict or control what can appear on its device.

For more information on how to build apps for the Chromecast, check out Google’s documentation here.