Google set to compete with Apple’s AirPlay and Microsoft’s SmartGlass

by: ŠtefanNovember 20, 2012

Getting what you see on your phone to show up on your television has been something that companies have been trying to do for years. Nokia used to make smartphones with special headphone jacks that could pump out video over the now ancient yellow, red, and white cables that we all remember from our childhood. Then companies jumped on board the whole DLNA thing, but it was ridiculously complicated to configure, so only the nerdiest of nerds got it to actually work. Not long after that, we started seeing HDMI ports on smartphones.

Fast forward to September 2010, which is when Apple introduced the world to AirPlay. Your iOS device and your Apple TV are connected to the same network, so whenever you’re listening to a song or watching a video on your iPhone or iPod, you just tap one button and boom, it magically gets displayed on your television. We saw Google’s response to that just a few weeks ago with Miracast support in Android 4.2 and the Nexus 4.

But there’s more to AirPlay than just mirroring your screen. Apple wants developers to create apps where one UI is on the device in your hands, and another UI is on the television in front of you. Microsoft too, they’re trying this with what they call “SmartGlass”. They’re pitching it as a “second screen” solution so you can interact with your media in ways you couldn’t before.

According to an interview that Google Product Manager Timbo Drayson did with GigaOM, Google is set to release their own two screen standard that will be open for anyone to use. Details are light at this point, so we can’t even tell you when it’s going to be a reality, but you guys should definitely be excited.

Apple invented AirPlay to sell more devices. Microsoft invented SmartGlass to get more people to buy content from their new content stores. Google on the other hand, Timbo says it best:

“We really want to move the whole industry forward.”


  • Doan

    How is DLNA complicated?

    1. Turn on devices (ie: TV, Smartphone)
    2. Scan for WiFi devices (ie: TV, Smartphone)
    3. Connect

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      Like I said, I can do it, you can do it, but ask your parents to do it and they’ll give up after about 30 seconds of fiddling with a TV’s remote.

    • Consider that Miracast allows for display cloning, so you can show anything on your screen. DLNA only allows you to stream content that is stored on your tablet/phone to your TV. Miracast will allow you to play games and have them display on the TV, browse the web on the TV and possibly even stream video like Netflix or Hulu to your TV.(the question on that last one is if the wifi radio will be able to handle streaming the video from the web while also streaming it to your TV)

  • Luke Woods


  • Apple_Nexus

    What hardware is required? Will Miracast work with the Nexus 7?

    • Andreas B.

      Miracast works on Wi-Fi direct, so, no special hardware (other than the Wi-Fi module, obviously) is required. I’m not quite sure, but I believe that ICS on, Wi-Fi Direct suport is supposed to be built-in.

      I know Nexus 7 supports it though! Check the Wi-Fi settings menu, and you’ll see it there. ;)

      • And sadly zero Google TV devices support it.

        • Andreas B.

          I’m sure Nexus Q, and other incoming TV-headed devices like Ouya are set to change that!

          • Hate to burst your bubble, but Google scrapped the Nexus Q. They are now “working on something better”. You can’t even buy the Nexus Q from them anymore. I am sure they will have their own Miracast capable device sometime next year though.

          • Andreas B.

            Nexus Q never officially released, but I was referring to Media Player devices running Android in general. I’m sure Q will appear at one point (maybe rebranded, cheaper?), but that’s nothing to be concerned about as long as there are already some genuinely great options, like Ouya.

          • Very true they never officially released it. However they did allow pre-orders, and those that did pre-order recieved one for free when they decided to scrap it. I am sure you are right though, there will be many Android media devices that will support Miracast. 2013 is the year for Miracast devices.

    • Carlton Madden

      Your TV doesn’t have to natively support Miracast. Several companies are making boxes for adding Miracast support to any TV with an HDMI input.

  • wm snyder

    Full rendering not just pics,music and videos.

  • Barla

    Ori ești plătit de Apple ori ești prost informat. Mirroringul acesta despre care tu scrii a fost introdus de Intel iar Apple a cumpărat drepturile unice de utilizare a tehnologiei pentru o perioada de 3 ani (2008-2011). Cu alte cuvinte Apple nu a inventat nimic. Iar dacă vrei sa vezi ceva inovator testează All share cast dongle de la Samsung și o sa observi ca e mult mai rapid decât airplay și nici nu te obliga sa fii conectat la un router (plus ca poți folosi internetul mobil chiar dacă nu exista wifi).