Posted by Meher Vurimi, Product Manager
Since we launched Google Cast in 2013, we’ve been working to bring casting capabilities to more apps and devices. We have come a long way. Now users can take it to many new devices like TVs, speakers, smart displays and the latest Pixel tablet. We’re excited to unlock new features that make streaming on Android seamless.
Android makes moving media between different devices – from phones to TVs, tablets, speakers and smart displays – easy with an output switcher. The output switcher is easily accessible from the Android system UI and aims to allow device switching and control for different technical protocols in one place. With Output Converter 2.0 on Android U, you’ll also see improved volume control, device categories, and support for devices with custom protocols.
More information is available in the Google Cast Developer Guide and Media Router.
- Enable output switch in AndroidManifest.xml
- Update SessionManagerListener for background casting
- Support remote to local playback
Move to nearby devices
When you have a Pixel Pro phone and a built-in Pixel tablet, you can soon take it to nearby devices in a new way. Users can stream music from their Pixel Pro phone to the docked Pixel Tablet by holding the phone close to the docked tablet. Likewise, you can stream music from a docked Pixel Tablet to your phone just by holding the phone close to the tablet. This feature requires output converter integration as a prerequisite.
Take short video applications
Short-form content is extremely popular and growing in use. Google Cast can make it easier for users to watch their favorite short-form content on TVs or other cast-enabled devices. Now, you can easily extend Google Cast support to your apps. These are the guidelines we have put together to provide the best user experience for your users.
Take it from your phone
Make sure the Google Cast icon in the top right corner is prominently displayed on every screen with playable content. Users will immediately recognize that they can cast media to the TV just by looking at the Cast icon.
Play by yourself
Users will have the option to disable autoplay to capture a specific video. When autoplay is enabled, playback will automatically advance to the next video without user intervention.
We’ve heard feedback that users think their built-in Chromecast devices aren’t available if they don’t see the cast icon. To improve user experience and discovery, we introduced the “continue cast icon”. With this support, users will see the cast icon whenever they want and can get better help and guidance as to why they don’t see a particular device. Additionally, we updated when device discovery was launched. More information is available in the Google Cast Developer Guide.
For any web hosting applications streaming HLS content, we recommend switching to Shaka Player for playback. Current Player (MPL) will no longer receive feature updates. As a result, the Web Receiver SDK added support for HLS playback using Shaka Player on device targets and introduced an opt-in flag to enable it. For more information and implementation details, see the Shaka Player Migration Guide hosted on the DevSite.
Use the following snippet in your Google Cast receiver app to opt-in to use Shaka Player for HLS content.
Move to new devices
We are continuously working with various OEMs to bring Chromecast built-in to new devices. Last year we launched Chromecast in new speakers, and we’re also introducing receiver support on docked Pixel Tablets.
As always, Google TVs come with Chromecast built-in, including the new Hisense ULED and ULED X Series, the latest TCL Q class models, and the new TCL QM7 line. In fact, there are now over 220 million monthly active Google TV and other Android TV OS devices, and we’re just getting started. More devices like the 2024 LG TV series are launching with Chromecast built-in.