Pocketables

Google breaks Chromecast’s ability to cast all the things

chromecastIn the most recent OTA update for Google’s Chromecast, it appears that Google has broken the dongle’s ability to cast local content to the device. This comes only a few weeks after the developer of ClockworkMod created a mod to cast all the things, which was later developed into an open beta app available for all. Unfortunately, it also appears that Google intended to break this app’s ability to cast local content – this might not be unintended collateral damage from unrelated code changes.

That’s just the thing, though – the Chromecast isn’t like Android or Chromium OS. It’s not open source, and Google probably doesn’t ever intend for it to be. Google’s APIs from the developer preview of the Google Cast SDK also don’t offer this functionality, so the developer had to be creative and work around this limitation.

Most likely, the ability to cast anything and everything makes content providers nervous – they’re the people whom you pay to gain access to apps that do work on the Chromecast, like Netflix. Having a simple Miracast-like dongle could potentially cut into their profits if you don’t purchase content from them, so Google has to play a delicate balancing act of pleasing its partners and making the device appealing to consumers, which includes power users and developers.

Personally, I’ve been perfectly happy with what the Chromecast has been able to do in my living room. I haven’t felt the need to cast other things yet, though I’m still holding out hope that Google will find a way to let developers do their own thing. Google also says it has big plans for the Chromecast that have yet to be realized, so it’s possible that Google will simply replicate this functionality itself in an upcoming update.

In the meantime, what do you think of this news? Are you disappointed, or does it not affect the way you use the Chromecast?

[Slashdot | Android Central]
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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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5 thoughts on “Google breaks Chromecast’s ability to cast all the things

  • I’m disappointed in hearing this BUT I’m not surprised.

    Hopefully something gives….

    Reply
  • Avatar of Wes Stacey

    I don’t know….

    It may be that Google is worried about content provider’s reacting to basting everything. I’m pretty sure they sued Google claiming that streaming your OWN music from the cloud to devices you OWN was a “broadcast” and Google owed them royalty rights…So i can see how Google might be gun shy.

    But that being said, what makes Apple different, The ability to mirror your entire screen to Apple TV gives ANY app the ability to stream to the television. So why does Google seem to have to go to each and every app developer and have them modify their apps to be Chromecast different.

    I’d be very interested in reading an in depth article on the subject assuming that any journalist can get enough information out of the 2 companies to actually write such a piece.

    Reply
    • Offering an api to implement into your application is a much better solution then google constructing a build that forces mirroring (at least to a developer).

      This dongle is streaming from the cloud, not your wireless network pushing data around, this offers a more seamless experience that each device is a separate entity and can work independently.

      Imagine the frustrations users would have if they were streaming content and the phone, laptop, or device needed to stay on to mirror properly.

      Offering this api circumvents that problem and functionality is treated as a plugin that is easily adaptable. It’ll become one of the staples for mobile development, similiar to Google Maps, Facebook and other social media APIs that are implemented in applications.

      Reply
      • Avatar of Wes Stacey

        Excellent points. Thank you.

        Everyone does seem to compare this to Apple TV and Mirroring, but there are enough differences that it isn’t a true Apples to Apples comparison. Google is taking a slightly different approach. We’ll have to see what plans they have for a device that I’m sure has surpassed even their own expectations of demand.

        Right now I’d would settle for just being able to get my hands on one. Got the email this morning that the one i ordered off of Google play on Aug 8th has finally shipped. :-D

        Reply
  • Avatar of Th3taJ

    So no watching movies and shows from Google Drive?

    Reply

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