Google has announced a new set of tools for the Chromecast to allow developers to build a better second screen experience. The focus appears to be on interactivity, and it looks like Google wants developers to start building more multiplayer games for the Chromecast.
A new API is being published to allow developers to tailor make their apps for a second screen. The idea is that the Chromecast will do more than mirror content from the Android device, but instead the app will be specifically designed to allow it to be displayed on a larger display. The app will still have the same Cast icon to allow it to work with Chromecast, but the underlying code will be substantially different. This Remote Display feature will be made available to both Android and iOS developers.
Cast Game Manager APIs will make it easier for developers to build multiplayer games by allowing apps to send messages and game state changes between all connected clients and the receiver. Chromecast can already support multiplayer games, but this looks like Google wants to make the whole thing a big deal.
A slightly less interactive set of APIs is also being rolled out, one that allows developers to create content queues and buffer videos before they are played. Videos in the queue will be able to begin loading before the first one has finished playing, which will reduce waiting time; although Google talks about how much it will increase watch times.
All of these APIs are already available on Android, with the SDKs for iOS and Chrome appearing soon.
[Source: Google Developers Blog]