Google wants to make an open source AirPlay alternative
YouTube recently launched a service very similar to Apple's AirPlay that allows Android users to beam movies to their Google TV. Apparently Google wants to take it a step further yet, and with an open standard. In an interview with GigaOM, Google executives have made it clear that streaming for Google TV is only the beginning:
Google took a page from Apple’s playbook when it rolled out its own AirPlay-like remote control feature for YouTube on Google TV last week. The company has since launched a dedicated micro-site to promote the feature, showing how serious it is taking second screen control. But it is not stopping there. Drayson told me that Google is “actively working with other companies” to turn this into an open standard, which could be used on other platforms and for other apps as well.
This means that Google could potentially pair up with other vendors in order to create "out of the box" compatibility across various platforms. Samsung has made smart TV's for years that could take advantage of the software and allow users to beam to their tv without any additional add-ons.
Apple sold 5.3 million units of the device (Apple TV) in its fiscal year 2012, which makes it by far the best-selling video streaming box. One could also argue that AirPlay-like functionality is one of the key features that’s been missing from Android to successfully compete with the iPad.
If you use AirPlay to wirelessly beam video to an Apple TV from your iOS device or Mac, you know how convenient it can be, especially in a room full of people all wanting to see the same thing. However, if you want to use AirPlay, you need to own an AirPlay enabled device such as an Apple TV in order to share it and is obviously only compatible with iOS.
An open standard would allow many other streaming box services to take advantage and it looks as if that's exactly what Google intends on doing. It would mean that anyone with an Android device would have a lot more options when it comes to streaming.