Google wants to make it easier to play better-looking games on TV, and the company announced new Google Cast technologies today to make that possible.
The new APIs (application program interfaces) are part of Google Cast, the cross-platform technology that allows users to project content from phones, tablets and laptops to compatible TVs or speakers. Google Cast-compatible devices include Android TV, Chromecast, standalone TVs and third-party devices like the Razor Forge TV. Those in the Apple ecosystem may recognize the technology as a relative of Apple's AirPlay.
The first bit of technology, Google Cast Game Manager, is designed to simplify development for multiplayer games.
"Now we’re introducing new Game Manager APIs that will simplify the process for developers to build multiplayer games," a developer-focused post by Google Cast product managers Nathan Camarillo and David Allison reads.
Google Play services 7.5 will introduce Cast Game Manager for Android, Chrome, iOS, Chrome and receivers. Developers will be able to "send messages and state changes" to connected devices. Because those messages include a player ID, that means it'll be "possible to have multiple players sharing a single sender device."
Google will also introduce Remote Display APIs in beta form, which are designed to "bring graphically intensive apps or games to Google Cast receivers with Google Cast Remote Display APIs for Android and iOS." Android and iOS devices will then send audio and video to the hardware, and the API will include hooks for OpenGL ES and Apple's Metal graphics technology "to help integrating Remote Display with existing rendering code."
Google said that, since Chromecast's launch in July 2013, people have tapped the Cast button more than 1.5 billion times. Chromecast users, Google says, are consuming 66 percent more content than at launch.