Google talks up Chromecast in 2014 ( Category : 1 )

Google is prepping Chromecast for a much bigger role in 2014.

Google has big plans for its surprise hit Chromecast to take it far beyond its status as a low-cost, limited-function dongle for streaming media.

The company wants to make it available to an international audience, Mario Queiroz, Google's vice president of product management, told GigaOm on Friday. Fans of the device will be "pleasantly surprised," he said.

As more people are able to get the device, Google expects that they will want more apps to be compatible with it, Queiroz said. That requires finalizing and opening the Chromecast Software Development Kit (SDK), which the company hopes to do in 2014. Currently, Google must assist developers chosen to work with the SDK.

Queiroz added that Google wants to turn the technology behind the Chromecast, called Google Cast, into an open standard that manufacturers can build into their consumer electronics.