Google has broken the two-month drought on Chromecast apps by bringing on Hulu as an official supporter of its TV streaming device.
Both companies announced today that Hulu Plus, the premium service for entertainment streaming to mobiles, has joined the so-far limited ranks of Chromecast sources, which previously only included Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music.
The Hulu Plus mobile apps pushed out updates today that allow Android smartphones and tablets, as well as iPads, to initiate and control streams to the Chromecast-connected televisions. (An updated iPhone app is on the way shortly, says Hulu.)
The news is both long-awaited and somehow a bit surprising. Users have been pining for more video sources since Chromecast launched at the end of July. And yet, Google's official line has been that the Chromecast software developer kit (SDK), which allows developers to build apps that stream to Chromecast, is still not ready for use in publicly distributed apps.
The exception to the rule was obviously Netflix, an early partner who got in on the ground floor of the Chromecast initiative. But Hulu's involvement at this point in time might be more significant, as it may herald the imminent arrival of more Chromecast-compatible apps.
During the launch, Google mentioned that "a handful of early developers are already working on enabling Google Cast technology in their apps, so more supported apps are coming soon." A company spokesperson tells me now that "Hulu is one of those early developers"—which suggests that at least a few more major partners are poised to follow suit, possibly soon.
As for other developers who aren't one of the chosen few early developers, they're still subject to the restrictions outlined in the terms of the Cast SDK. An individual familiar with the situation says Google has been "working with a variety of content partners" as it continues to fiddle with the SDK. But as soon as it opens up, this person says, other "devs will have the opportunity to integrate Chromecast into their apps."
Feature image courtesy of Madeleine Weiss for ReadWrite.
Edited to add quote from Google representative.