November 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

Google Finally Wakes Up to AirPlay Threat

apple airplay google android

Twonky and other Android apps allow Android users to send music to Apple devices, which should worry Google for all kinds of reasons.

We’ve been hopping up and down, waving our metaphorical hands in the air, wondering when Google will realize that Apple AirPlay represents a fundamental threat not only to its budding media business, but to everything from its mobile operating system to Chromebook sales.

Finally, Google gets it.

Eight years after Apple unveiled AirPlay, four years after Google launched Android, and nine months after the Wall Street Journal said Google was going to get its wireless music act together, Google is reported (by GigaOm) to be working on a viable alternative to Apple AirPlay.

Maybe now, this won’t be one of the most popular stories on — the one where we tell Android users how to play their music on Apple AirPlay devices including not only AirPort Express and Apple TV, but a growing number of actual stereo systems and speakers, too.

Two years ago, we suggested that Google do exactly this.

Thankfully, Google appears to be following our advice to the letter (probably inadvertently, although all kinds of people read this blog), by making its AirPlay competitor more open than AirPlay is. We recommended open-sourcing it, just like Google did with Android.

A few days ago, Google product manager Timbo Drayson told GigaOm’s Janko Roettgers, “Google is ‘actively working with other companies’ to turn this into an open standard, which could be used on other platforms and for other apps as well.”

Hopefully, where Google and Android users are concerned, Google is serious. It’s almost 2013. Any music fans carrying smartphones that can’t zap music to their speakers should start feeling ashamed of themselves pretty soon.

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