It is no secret by now that Samsung dreams of becoming more than just a passive Android device manufacturer and wants to entice developers to target its devices instead of just the mobile operating system. As part of its crusade, the company is releasing a bunch of Software Development Kits (SDKs), one of which is meant to rival Chromecast and Airplay but also offer more.
At first glance, Samsung’s multiscreen SDK gives capabilities that sound similar to any of the existing streaming solutions, popularized by Apple with its Airplay technology and lately by Google‘s Chromecast streaming HDMI dongle. The SDK will allow developers to create mobile apps that will be able to send videos and music to supported TV sets and, of course, control playback, just like a glorified remote control.
Samsung, however, was not content to simply mimic the crowd. Using and building on top of DIAL, the very same multiscreen protocol that was developed as a collaboration between Google and Netflix, the SDK will also give developers the ability to utilize TVs as second screens. This means that smartphones and tablets can stream more than just multimedia but also games to a TV. But even more than that, the SDK adds the ability to create overlays that appear on top of live TV shows, like a Twitter feed or game stats.
The SDK, which will roll out starting November 12, will support Samsung’s 2013 and 2014 Smart TV models. Interestingly, the SDK contains Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) not just for Android but also for iOS and HTML5 as well, allowing developers to create truly cross-platform apps. Furthermore, the DIAL protocol is actually suppported by a numerous devices from other manufacturers, such as Sony, LG, TiVo, and Panasonic, giving the SDK and even wider range of coverage.