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Google promises Chromecast app and device expansion

Google's uber-cheap, plug-in Chromecast device has enjoyed quite a bit of news this week – news many purchasers have been waiting for, as a major announcement involved ten new apps saying that they now fully support Google's streaming-friendly device.

That, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg for Chromecast's development. According to a new report from Gigaom, Google's ambitious are twofold: Delivering more Chromecast devices to a flock of users worldwide, and getting even more apps to declare themselves "Chromecast-compatible." At the end of the day, said Google executives, the company maintains that every person will expect every app they use to be streamable to a Chromecast.

So why, then, aren't there more apps that can currently stream to a Chromecast? Google initially placed limits on which developers could offer Chromecast streaming in their respective apps. If you'll recall from Chromecast's launch, that was pretty much only Netflix — in addition to the device being able to stream media from Google's own services, like YouTube and Google Play. The company later officially welcomed Pandora and Hulu Plus, in addition to HBO Go, into the Chromecast fold, and this past week's announcement brings apps like Plex, RealPlayer Cloud, and Revision3 into Chromecast-land.

The problem with opening the Chromecast floodgates is that Google hasn't officially released the public SDK for the device just yet. While it has released a preview SDK to developers, Google is still limiting them from officially being able to distribute apps with Chromecast support built in — they can only really play around in the sandbox while they wait for the official go-ahead. That said, more than "hundreds of developers" have allegedly been tinkering around with Chromecast support for their apps. In addition, Google is slowly working to build support for the public release of a Chromecast SDK, which includes recently holding a Chromecast hackathon in an effort to get more feedback about the SDK itself. That doesn't really offer much insight as to when Google might release the SDK officially, but at least the company is plowing forward.

For those that are still a bit impatient, Google executives maintain that more apps supporting Chromecast should be available in the "near future," reports Gigaom. And for those curious as to how Chromecast sales might be impacting the schedule of apps that support it, Google is staying quiet on how many of the tiny dongles it has shipped out. That said, the Chromecast device has remained in the "top three" for top electronics devices sold on Amazon, and the Chromecast setup application has hit more than five million downloads on the Google Play store. Anecdotal evidence, yes, but it does appear as if Google likely has a runaway hit on its hands — as far as the company's living room efforts go.