ConnectSDK v1.6.0 Released

Deepak Sharma Posted by Deepak Sharma | September 9, 2015

We proudly announce the launch of ConnectSDK version 1.6.

New in this release, you can get your app to work with Android TVs. Isn’t it cool?

To improve the playback experience, we have added the support for subtitles.
And great news for Cordova developers; this version makes the build process really simple, with better playback experience with support for subtitles and playlist controls and much more.

Here is a list of what’s new the ConnectSDK version 1.6.0 offers:

  • Cordova support
    • Automatic install scripts for iOS and Android
    • Support for pinning web apps
    • Support for subtitles
    • Support for pairing type
    • Support for playlist controls
    • API for external input picker
    • Simplified way to determine device capabilities
    • Miscellaneous Bug fixes
  • Subtitle support on WebOS, Netcast, DLNA, Chrome cast and FireTV.
  • Support for Android TV devices.
  • Fixed play media issue on Roku 6.2
  • Removed Rewind and FastForward capabilities from Netcast service
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes.

Please continue to help our work by contributing to our open-source effort and providing your valuable feedback to us.


ConnectSDK v1.5 Announcement

Alpesh Saraiya Posted by Alpesh Saraiya | July 9, 2015

With ConnectSDK version 1.5, we’re extremely proud to announce support for Amazon’s Fling SDK on Fire TV and Fire Stick devices!  iOS and Android Apps can now seamlessly beam video, audio, and images to Fire TV / Fire Stick.  We are looking forward to expanding support for Amazon products.

To further integrate apps within Smart TVs, we now have ability to pin web apps on webOS 2014+ TVs.  Developers can now provide convenient, instant access to a wealth of web apps like MusixMatch.  If you have a web app to offer and want to increase your install base with minimal effort, please register here.

The combined iOS and Android release notes for ConnectSDK v1.5:

  • Supports Amazon Fling SDK to play and control media on Fire TV devices
  • Pinning web app on webOS TV launcher bar
  • Enhanced webOS TV media player
    • Added playlist and loop support
    • Extended play state subscription to handle media playback errors
  • Added launching input picker for new versions of webOS TVs
  • Fixed discovery for ChromeCast in Android
  • Added ConnectSDK support for Windows on LG webOS and NetCast Smart TVs (big thanks to contributor Sorin Serban!)
  • Created a first set of integration and acceptance tests

We are working towards supporting some more exciting new features and device platforms in the coming months. Please continue to help our work by contributing to our open-source effort and providing your valuable feedback to us.


Connect SDK 1.4.4 released

Alpesh Saraiya Posted by Alpesh Saraiya | April 27, 2015

With version 1.4.4, we've added support for Google Cast SDK 2.6.0, which allows streaming of audio to Google Cast-enabled speakers, such as LG Music Flow speaker.  Also we now support AirPlay pin mode for increased security.  Lastly, we've fixed a number of issues related to DLNA and other miscellaneous bugs.

The combined release notes for iOS and Android:

  • Added AirPlay pin mode support
  • Added LG Music Flow speaker support (Google Cast for Audio and DLNA)
  • Support for Google Cast SDK 2.6.0
  • Misc DLNA fixes
    • DLNA subscription methods
  • Allow to set pairing type for WebOS TVs
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes
    • Replaced DefaultHttpClient with HttpURLConnection
    • Added a new exception class - NotSupportedServiceCommandError
    • Compiler and static analyzer warnings
    • Immediate disconnect if Apple TV has an IPv6 address only
    • Lint warning
We are working towards some exciting features, including Windows SDK support and new device platforms support in the coming months. Please continue to help our work by providing your valuable feedback to us.


Connect SDK Smart Home demo

Vivek Sekar Posted by Vivek Sekar | April 8, 2015

We have spent the last month working with some exciting Smart Home products & technologies. Now we are ready to showcase our work.

We believe the Smart Homes of the future, are not going to be driven by devices from a single manufacturer, instead a network of devices from various manufacturers. And interoperability will be a key part of the experience for these devices to be able to deliver on the promise of simplifying the user's life.

We hope to use the understanding from this showcase, to be able to deliver a solution for developers to be able to leverage the various SDK's out there to provide novel and innovative application solutions for the user.

We have made the Smart Home sampler app source code available in github.

This demo app demonstrates a scenario of using various Smart Home devices in two home scenes. They represent a living room and a family room, each containing a media device, light bulbs, and possibly other devices. The supported devices come from different categories (media players, light bulbs, switches, and iBeacons) and multiple manufacturers.

The scenario of the app is:

  1. You enter the living room, which is detected by an iBeacon,
  2. A playlist starts to play on a TV or speaker, and the light bulbs change color to match one of the colors of the album art during playback.
  3. Then the user moves from the living room scene to the family room scene.
  4. Where the session information is transfered from the living room to the family room.
    • The devices in the living switch off and the session is picked up in the family room
  5. The user put the scene to sleep using voice command (to replicate control using Siri or Google Now or other voice engine/assitants)
    • The speaker fades out the music, while the LED bulb fade out and switch off.
  6. The Scene wakes up after a defined time - to mimic waking up from an alarm.
    • The Led Bulbs switch on along with speaker.

For the source code & additional information
- https://github.com/ConnectSDK/SmartHomeSamplerAndroid
- https://github.com/ConnectSDK/SmartHomeSampleriOS

Support our work by providing your valuable feedback to us.


Xbox One & Sonos support added to 1.4.2 release

Vivek Sekar Posted by Vivek Sekar | February 10, 2015

With the release of the 1.4.2 version of Connect SDK we have added support for Xbox One and Sonos Speakers, bring the total number of platforms we support to 8. Along with the new platforms, we have added support for Playlist functionality and improved the SSDP classes also.

The combined release notes for iOS and Android:

  • Support for Xbox One console and Sonos speakers
  • Added playlist support over DLNA
  • Fixed video playing on Roku firmware 6.1
  • Significantly improved SSDP classes
  • Added new API's to
    • Display image & Play media
  • Fixed saving service configuration
  • Added support for Android Studio 1.0
  • API Integration tests
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes

Continuing our focus on quality, we have added a new repository Connect-SDK-Android-API-Sampler that focuses on the testing the public API's that are available as part of the Android SDK. We will focus on the iOS SDK next.

We are working towards some really cool and interesting features in the upcoming releases and cannot wait to get it out. Support our work by providing your valuable feedback to us.


Connect SDK 1.4 is out

Vivek Sekar Posted by Vivek Sekar | December 3, 2014

We have just pushed out the code for the 1.4.0 release. Here is a quick overview of the additions we have made:

1.4.0 release notes

  • Modularization of Connect SDK
  • Improved support for DLNA devices
    • DLNA volume control subscriptions
    • DLNA play state subscriptions
    • DLNA media info
  • Unit tests for the discovery services providers
  • Bug fixes in iOS, Android and Google Cast modules

Modularization

With the growing adoption of Connect SDK, a frequently requested feature has been for the developers to be able to pick and choose the various devices they want to support in their applications. As they put it – it would allow them to only have the necessary components as part of their application - so apps that directly stream media content does not have to worry about the web app support or vice versa.

With the 1.4.0 release we are taking our first steps towards achieving modularization within the features offered by Connect SDK. The 1.4.0 release allows developers to be able to pick between

  • full (all you can eat version)
  • lite (Connect SDK without the Google Cast) versions of Connect SDK.

Going forward in the upcoming releases we will add more and more of the existing features into this modularized approach. So you can pick and choose the features, like DIAL, Google Cast, Roku, Apple TV, LG Smart TV’s, DLNA.

DLNA

WIth over 18,000 device models supporting DLNA, we are putting our efforts to be able to address these plethora of devices. With the 1.4.0 release we have further improved the support for DLNA devices. With this release we have added Volume control, play state & media info subscription. Along with some bug fixes to improve stability.

Unit tests

As Connect SDK grows to support more and more platforms and their SDK's, We have started work towards having a better overview on the quality of the code we are pushing out and integrating with. With the 1.4.0 release, we have started adding unit test coverage for the search discovery providers. Going forward the work on the test coverage will continue independent of the Connect SDK's release cycle, so that we can catch up to all the work that has been put out till now.

Just like the previous releases, we look forward to your feedback. We have already started working on Connect SDK v1.4.1 and look forward to sharing it with you soon!

Recently Launched Connect SDK Apps and Upcoming 1.4 Release

Chris Cukor Posted by Chris Cukor | September 29, 2014

Developers are excited about Connect SDK because it solves a lot of their day to day problems. We wanted share a few recent examples of how Connect SDK is being used for music, premium content, and personal media.

MusiXMatch – Your favorite music with lyrics. Beam it all to your TV screen to enjoy with friends and family.

musicXmatch.png

SnagFilms – The award-winning streaming video platform offers entertainment lovers an extensive library of over 5,000 free movies, TV series and web originals on demand.

snagfilms.png

Seagate Media App – If you back up your personal media to one of Seagate’s enabled drives (Seagate Central, Wireless Plus or LaCie Fuel), now you can enjoy your pictures, movies and music on your TV.

seagate.png

We are working with more developer whose apps will be launching this year and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on the highlights.

Check back soon for details about the upcoming 1.4 release that will support a host of new features and devices.

 


Connect SDK now supports Apple TV

Henry Levak Posted by Henry Levak | June 10, 2014

All of the devices we use should work harmoniously together - and in some cases they do. Take for example when you receive an email, you have the ability to read it on your mobile phone, tablet, or PC. Similarly, when you begin a Netflix movie on your desktop, you can finish watching it on your tablet and many other devices. Consumers are beginning to expect this connected experience between some of their devices - but few expect it from the biggest screen in their house. Being able start something on one device and continue it on the big screen is not as widely supported as it should be - and we want to play a part in changing that.

While many app developers acknowledge the opportunity a big, high definition display can bring (other than a few Chromecast-enabled apps) very few have implemented any app-to-TV functionality, and we don't blame them. The reality is, there are too many second screen protocols to choose from and the level of effort to integrate can be very high. Not to mention, the market share of each protocol individually makes it difficulty to prioritize it over other opportunities.

We saw these roadblocks for app developers as a huge opportunity and so we designed and built Connect SDK. Our goal was simple, we wanted to expand the reach of second screen development by tackling the ever growing array of second screen protocols. Our result being, a single SDK with integrated support for multiple protocols, in which the effort of dealing with each one is abstracted away and the size of the opportunity is an aggregation of multiple platforms.

It wasn't too long ago in April 2014 that we launched Connect SDK with support for five TV platforms. Today we are excited to announce that Connect SDK supports Apple TV with the release of version 1.3.

What does this mean?

For the Android app developer, you can now beam photos, videos, and audio files to Apple TVs. By using an undocumented protocol, Connect SDK lets Android developers discover, connect to, and control Apple TVs, much like webOS and Roku devices (for a full list of supported features, see Features). And, because Connect SDK abstracts all protocols, beaming a photo to an Apple TV is just as easy as beaming it to a Chromecast or LG Smart TV '13.

For the iOS developer, you can choose between two modes, "Mirrored" and "Media".

  • In Mirrored mode, web app beaming is accomplished by using AirPlay to mirror a secondary display that is actually being rendered on the iOS device. This allows developers to build full screen TV-optimzed web applications that work across webOS, Chromecast, and now Apple TV. In order to use this mode, the user will need to enable AirPlay mirroring in the Control Center. Also, as with any Airplay mirroring app - TV experience will end if the user switches away from your app.
  • In Media mode, photos, videos, and audio is beamed directly to an Apple TV. Using this mode provides the most seamless user experience, but before using it, please review Apple's developer guidelines as it is enabled by an undocumented protocol. While all protocols are subject to change with software updates, undocumented protocols may be particularly so.

As with any release, we look forward to your feedback. We have already started working on Connect SDK v1.4 and look forward to sharing it with you soon!