Chromecast owners using a third-party app to stream local files to their HDTV using Google’s $35 dongle are in the dark. Literally. The latest Chromecast software update intentionally breaks the AllCast app, says Koushik Dutta, who developed the software.
Koush, as he’s known on the web, explains the situation on his Google+ page and shares thoughts on why this is happening:
“They [Google] disabled ‘video_playback’ support from the Chromecast application.
Given that this is the second time they’ve purposefully removed/disabled the ability to play media from external sources, it confirms some of my suspicions that I have had about the Chromecast developer program:
The policy seems to be a heavy handed approach, where only approved content will be played through the device. The Chromecast will probably not be indie developer friendly. The Google TV team will likely only whitelist media companies.”
While Android is known to be “hacker” friendly, I’m not completely surprised that Google is locking down the Chromecast. The company likely wants to guarantee a certain user experience on the product that both has the company name on it and is readily available at the retail level.
Regardless, as a Chromecast user, I’m disappointed. While I love how easy it is to “cast” media from YouTube, Netflix and Google Play Movies and Music, the idea of not being able to share user-created content wireless from a mobile device is limiting. Hopefully Google either reconsiders or provides an official method to do so soon.