Google API puts games on TV as phone/tablet become controller

Nate Swanner - Mar 2, 2015, 2:14pm CST
Google API puts games on TV as phone/tablet become controller

Android users might have another reason to want an Android TV soon. Adjunct to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Google is hosting a Developer’s day event, and has announced a new API. Called ‘Nearby Connections’, the API has a few handy tweaks for Developers, and when used properly, you as well. With Nearby Connections, users will be able to use Android devices as game controllers for Android TV-ready games. It’s only available on one game so far, but expect more to follow suit quickly.


The Nearby Connections API will allow Developers to make a connection between your handheld device, an Android TV, and the app. In streaming your game to the Android TV set-top box, your smartphone or tablet becomes the controller. This could also allow Developers to design proprietary game controllers, should they like.

Your game content will be displayed on-screen. As you can see in the video below, multiplayer gaming is also worked into the API.

Along with the ability to divide gaming content and controls, gamers should also expect Developers to make their handheld devices more than static controllers. As we see in the video below, a phone’s gyroscope helps power a vehicle in Buggy Racing along.

While it’s nothing major at this juncture, Nearby Connections is a pretty key feature for Developers that offers a handshake with a central Android TV principle: gaming. We’d expect to see this API just about everywhere, and quickly.


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