Google now lets developers build games for its smart displays

At its I/O developer conference, Google today announced that it is opening up its Smart Display platform to developers. Until now, there was no real way for developers to target devices like the newly renamed Nest Hub. Only Google’s own first-party services got full access to the display. Now, however, Developers will be able to start developing Google Assistant actions for these displays, starting with games.

I wouldn’t expect that we’ll see very complex and highly graphical games on smart displays, but this is a good surface for word games or similar casual games. We are talking about relatively low-end hardware, after all. The fact that the games are based on HTML, CSS and JavaScript also enforces some limits to what developers can do with this platform. Given that Google itself is now using its Flutter multi-platform framework to build some of its own smart display experiences, chances are that developers, too, will be able to bring their games to these devices in the same way.

To enable this, Google is launching Interactive Canvas, a new API that allows developers to create full-screen experiences. This will actually work across Android and smart displays.

Over time, the company plans to open the smart display platform to other third-party experiences, as well. When exactly that will happen remains to be seen, though. The only timeline Google is committing to is “soon.”