Amid a host of additional updates for developers like the announcement of AWS’s new API gateway to help companies manage their APIs better, Amazon has also unleashed the ‘Amazon Fling’ SDK, allowing iOS and Android developers to cast their apps onto the Fire TV.
The Fire TV is a TV-in-a-box, and a perfect example of mini- computing, that you can plug into a TV to stream online videos, play games, or run other apps on a big screen. It comes with a remote control, but you can also use a mobile app on your smartphone to control the Fire TV. The introduction of Amazon Fling essentially enhances the equation for your Fire TV: your wish to cast content that you find interesting on your phone to your television screen, is closer to reality than you think.
The SDK provides a way for apps running on your mobile device to find the Fire TV and communicate with it over a local network.
The procedure looks pretty hassle-free to me so far. Once you decide on an app that offers fling support a fling icon will show up near the top of the app if a Fire TV is connected. Tap it and the media will star to play on the Fire TV. Voila! Then you can use either your smartphone or your Fire TV remote to adjust the media player. This, as you might have noticed, is completely opposite to conventional media playback devices, which can be quite cumbersome to use.
The company gave out examples of apps that are leveraging Fling’s range of capabilities. The first one to use the SDK app are Karaoke Party and Rivet Radio. The karaoke app can display song lyrics on your TV while sending audio recorded on your phone to the TV. The radio app, meanwhile, lets you start listening to an online radio station on your mobile device and then switch to a TV with the tap of a button.
Google’s Chromecast too offers similar functionality. What’s more, you can operate the Chromecast only from a tablet or smartphone, and the remote has been done away with. Priced at just Rs 2,999 in India, the Chromecast’s $15 ethernet adaptor got sold like hot cakes a few days back. The company has put focus on it’s promotion as a media streaming platform and recently added autoplay, queuing, multiplayer gaming among a bevy of features in April this year.
The sense of that whole Chromecast para above ? To let you know that Amazon has a pretty solid competitor in Chromecast.
Cut-the-cord and shift to online streaming is getting bigger and better these days, and this announcement by Amazon will surely add to the cause.