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Taking it to the home turf: YouTube adds AirPlay competitor to its iOS app

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YouTube (s GOOG) just released an update to its iOS (s AAPL) app that adds the ability to send videos directly from an iPad or iPhone to Google TV devices. The AirPlay-like feature was first rolled out as part of YouTube’s Android app in November, but YouTube has long said that it wants to bring the technology to additional platforms to allow frictionless sharing of content in the living room.

An announcement on Google+ states in part:

“Anyone on the same WiFi can join in to control the video or add videos to a playlist (Harlem Shake marathon anyone?). This feature is also available on the YouTube app for Android, and it’s coming to more TVs this year from LG, Sony, Panasonic and others.”

The updated YouTube app allows users to browse for videos and then initiate playback on the TV screen. A key part of this is discovery: The app automatically finds compatible devices within the same network — something that’s similar to the ease-of-use of Apple’s AirPlay. Of course, the big difference is that AirPlay limits video playback to the Apple TV, whereas YouTube wants to bring remote playback to as many devices as possible.

YouTube’s remote playback technology is in part based on DIAL, an open framework for second screen functionalities that YouTube has been developing in cooperation with Netflix.(s NFLX) Google Product Manager Timbo Drayson told me in November that YouTube’s ultimate goal was “to move the whole industry forward” with this kind of technology.