Android YouTube update adds AirPlay-like abilities

YouTube update for Android and Google TV adds AirPlay-like streaming abilities
One of the neater features of Apple TV is the ability to stream content from any AirPlay compatible device via Wi-Fi. Now Google has announced it will be updating the YouTube apps for Android devices and Google TV to provide similar functionality. The update allows for your phone or tablet to pair with a Google TV via WI-Fi, letting you push videos you find on your handheld device straight to your TV. According to Google’s YouTube blog you can also use your device as a remote, or search for another video on your handset or tablet while watching the initial video on TV.

The move has several implications; first off Google TV owners will finally see synergistic benefits from owning other Android products, in much the same way that owning multiple Apple products leads to additional benefits for iOS users. While this will only deepen ecosystem lock in further, it’s a trend that appears almost obligatory in the modern “services as a platform” market where mobile, web services, and content creation are continuously tied closer and closer together (for another example, see Windows 8).

This also casts a bit of a pall over the future of the Nexus Q project. One of the touted advantages of the Nexus Q was its ability to stream content directly to TVs (and that content could be controlled from an Android smartphone or tablet). Now that Google is cutting out the Nexus Q middleman, it suggests a stronger commitment to the Google TV platform, and one less feature to promote the Q with – and a lack of features was already the biggest criticism of the Nexus Q.

Whether this truly heralds the downfall of Google’s streaming media orb, or whether the Q is simply keeping its head down while more features are added won’t be known for a while, but the move to put the Google TV platform on a more equal footing with Apple TV suggests that Google continues to see it as a worthwhile platform, and we can expect to see even more integration between TV and mobile as time goes on. Google's blog says to "stay tuned to see this feature coming to more devices and screens in the future" so perhaps iPhone users will soon acquire a similar feature set. At the time of writing the update has not yet hit the Google Play Store, but we'll post the link below so you can keep an eye out for it.

source: Google via The Verge
market link: Google Play
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