One of the more interesting tidbits of information this morning was Hugo Barra announcing that NetFlix would make available 1080p streaming for Android 4.3 users. Taking advantage of the new DRM APIs Google also slipped into the announcement, NetFlix will give mobile users the chance to view video at the highest quality available.
How does the DRM work? The Android developers page dedicated to the topic describes it like this:
The Android platform provides an extensible DRM framework that lets applications manage rights-protected content according to the license constraints that are associated with the content. The DRM framework supports many DRM schemes; which DRM schemes a device supports is up to the device manufacturer.
For application developers, the DRM framework offers an abstract, unified API that simplifies the management of rights-protected content. The API hides the complexity of DRM operations and allows a consistent operation mode for both rights-protected and unprotected content across a variety of DRM schemes. For device manufacturers, content owners, and Internet digital media providers the DRM framework’s plugin architecture provides a means of adding support for a specific DRM scheme to the Android system.
Essentially, Google and NetFlix just broke down a DRM wall to bring us the best possible streaming they could. This, along with Chromecast, seem to be the linchpins in a developing relationship with Google and NetFlix.
Of course, you’ll have to have Android 4.3 for this new feature to take effect. For Nexus owners, the wait will be over soon. For others, it may never actually happen.