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Integrating Chromecast In React Native Applications!

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By Author: Ash Rakars
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When it comes to entertainment, what are the new-age customers drawn the most towards? Especially in the times of lockdown and quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic? Well, it’s streaming the latest on-demand shows or videos from YouTube, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, etc.

So, if you are planning to architect a modern-day application that can play high-definition audio/video content using the internet, embedding Chromecast is one of the best experiences that can be offered to the users.
It is widely used by individuals as well as businesses. In the US alone, around 36 million people use it. It is also used extensively in numerous React Native app development services since Chromecast supports React Native apps quite well.

So, in this article, we have outlined significant points to be considered for including Chromecast in a React Native app. But before we dive in deeper, let us run through what Chromecast is.

What is Chromecast?

Developed by Google, Chromecast is a digital media device, rather a series of devices. These are kinds of dongles which when plugged in can grant easy access for watching streaming audio-visual content or playing games from the internet on an HD television or a monitor with an HDMI port. One can find the content to watch from the mobile devices, or Chrome browser and then cast this content onto the TV through the media player. These are very popular in the entertainment industry. They are very simple to use and cheap as well. The users have complete control over what could be played.

Including Chromecast in React Native Apps

Using the React Native Library

It is recommended that the React Native developers should use react-native-google-cast, which is a React Native library that allows easy integration of Chromecast with streaming features into your app. This library wraps the native google cast SDK for both Android and iOS platforms thereby resulting in a JavaScript interface that is unified. This library comes with several UI components which are very useful as below:

Casting button: It comes with a casting button that will be only rendered and displayed in case the Chromecast device is available on the network of the user’s phone. When this button is pressed, a list of available devices is shown and then, the connection becomes ready to send the content to different devices that are selected. The icons will change its color after the connection has taken place.

Introductory Overlay: An introductory Overlay is available for new users who are using a Chromecast for the first time. This Overlay is useful for highlighting the Cast button and it is used or shown only once when the React Native application is opened for the first time to connect to the Chromecast device.

Expanded Media Control: The react-native-google-cast library also has the capability to provide expanded media control to control the streaming of content properly. This expanded media control comes with a full-screen panel with essential control buttons for management of content streaming like the volume control button, play/pause button, the button for indicating connection with the Chromecast. It will also allow watching the title, sub-title, cover image, etc. of the content that is being played currently.

Apart from above, this library offers various UI components like mini media control, volume control, etc.

APIs offered by this library:

The library offers several APIs like GoogleCast.setVolume(volume), GoogleCast.play(), GoogleCast.pause(), GoogleCast.stop(), GoogleCast.castMedia(options), GoogleCast.initChannel() to initialize the customized channel, GoogleCast.sendMessage() to send the message over the channel, GoogleCast.showCastPicker() to get cast options, etc to integrate Chromecast feature into the React Native apps.

Events that React-native-google-cast Library Supports

The react-native-google-cast library emits various events to inform the react native developers about the current state. These events play an important role in React Native app development while integrating Chromecast. They are:

1. Session events: These events refer to connection events between the React Native apps and the Chromecast device. It includes events like connection established, trying to reconnect, connection failed, connection suspended, reconnected, disconnecting, disconnected, etc.

2. Casting/media events: Media events or casting events are related to reproduction-type events. Here one can find and cache states like media started, media progress updated, media ended, etc.

3. Channel events: These events are related to exchanging messages between the react native application and the Chromecast device. This enables multiple Chromecast devices to subscribe to the same reception channel and thus the connection becomes multipoint.

Concluding Words:

Google Chromecast is a futuristic investment in your React Native application as it enables the users to explore a variety of top-quality options in today’s era of on-demand audio/video streaming services. Integrating Chromecast will also offer a competitive edge to your app, so, it is worth considering.

We hope this article has enlightened you and will guide you in your project.

If you want to hire well-experienced React Native app developers for your mobile app development project, get in touch with Biz4Solutions. We are a world-class React Native app development company, based in Texas, with 9+ years of experience in creating robust and customized applications and software products. For more details, kindly drop us a line at sales.enquiry@biz4solutions.com.

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