Cast adapters like Google’s Chromecast can now be more easily controlled by Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Apple is at least creating the conditions for this with new developer tools that were unveiled at the annual WWDC conference. The new capability should also be of interest to manufacturers like Spotify and Sonos, as it could lower the bar for developers to support non-Apple streaming devices in their apps.
A new framework called DeviceDiscoveryExtension allows third-party devices to show up in the same system menu as Apple’s own AirPlay from iOS 16, iPadOS 16, tvOS 16, and watchOS 9. That would be a significant improvement over the current situation, where Google, for For example, it provides a nested menu in the YouTube app, from which you can choose to AirPlay to an Apple device or Chromecast.
Vendors need to customize SDKs
However, for Chromecast and other devices to appear on the list, manufacturers first have to write a corresponding extension and make it available as a software development kit. However, since these have always been at a disadvantage compared to Apple’s closed ecosystem, they should probably be interested in the possibility. In fact, however, each developer would have to make sure that the respective streaming device is compatible with their app. There doesn’t seem to be any provision for streaming devices to automatically appear in all apps, as is the case with AirPlay.
safe in the sandbox
According to Apple, the new extensions run in a system process and look for the special media adapter in the local network and via Bluetooth. If found, Apple automatically integrates it into the menu screen.
DeviceDiscoveryExtension runs in a so-called sandbox, ie it is isolated from other processes on the devices. Therefore, developers do not need to request permissions to use the local area network or Bluetooth. Apple introduced these queries a few years ago to improve data protection. Despite their usefulness, they also annoy some users, as the number of such queries has increased at an inflationary rate in recent years. With the framework, Apple is also helping to reduce their number.
New versions of Apple operating systems are in beta. Final versions will appear in the fall.
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