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Google’s Nearby Connections API Allows Android Devices To Be Used As Controllers For Android TV Gaming

March 2, 2015 - Written By John Anon

If you are one of those who has already picked up the Nexus Player, then you would certainly have already experienced one of the more recently announced android platforms, Android TV. Although, the platform itself is expected to roll out much wider in the year ahead with various TV manufacturers announcing their intention to bring Android TV as a pre-installed feature. At the moment, the most widely available way to access Android TV is through the Nexus Player. If you do already own one, then you would have also already experienced the benefit of being able to play android games directly on your big screen TV.

However, one of the issues with Android TV and in particular, the gaming, is that you have to hand over extra money to pick up one of the controllers. Whether this be the official Asus designed Nexus Controler or a generic one, you still have to pay an additional sum to really experience what Android TV gaming can do. Especially if you want to take advantage of the more active or involved android gaming experiences. That said, Google did announce today an interesting development for Android TV gaming. Google are releasing an API which goes by the tag ‘Nearby Connections API’ and will allow developers to harmonize android hardware with Android TV.

In short, the Nearby Connections API will allow Android TV gamers to use their android smartphones or tablets as a hardware controller and forgo having to buy one separately. Or for instance, during multiplayer sessions when you are a controlled (or two) short, you can simply whip out an android device (or two) and connect and play the game. Of course, the games on offer will need to support the new API and this is where the developers will come in. Games that implement support for Nearby Connections will be able to offer the hardware feature. Google even released a video which you can see below, which highlights how the new service works. The android device is able to replicate on-screen controls and effectively assume the service of a controller. Check out the video and let us know what you think.