Back in November, you may remember that Google rolled out a neat new update to the YouTube Android app, letting users beam videos direct to Google TV.
It works a little like AirPlay for iOS, in that you find a video you want to watch, click the little TV icon and it will play instantly on Google TV. But it’s more than that – it’s also a remote control that lets you pause, scroll and navigate to the next video as it plays on the TV. You can also find another video to watch or browse the Web on your device, while the video plays.
Now, however, Google has revealed a slew of partnerships that will turn your smartphone and tablet into the ultimate remote control for YouTube.
Kicking off at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week, Google has announced that it’s bringing this mobile/TV pairing feature to devices from other big players in the TV realm, including Bang & Olufsen, LG, Panasonic and Sony. And throughout 2013, more devices from the likes of Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Western Digital and others will be reeled in too.
So, this will open up the YouTube pairing feature to many more smart TVs, and removes the need for a dedicated YouTube app on the TV itself. All that’s needed is a shared WiFi connection between the mobile device and the TV.
The new devices will also let users beam HD videos and channels to their big screen.
While there’s still no word on whether this exact same feature will be arriving in the iOS incarnation of the YouTube app, Google did launch a new version of the app for Apple devices in early December, catering specially for iPad and iPhone 5, but also featuring “enhanced” AirPlay support, letting you shoot your videos over to your Apple TV.
While second screen devices are typically considered to be your tablet or smartphone, today’s news helps turn that concept on its head, transforming your TV into your second screen, controlled entirely from your pocket rocket. Is this one more nail in the humble remote control’s coffin? Only time will tell.