Calm down, everyone: Chromecast will stream local content

Chromecast doesn't have a remote control or an app store - which may make it the most radical smart TV solution yet.

There’s certainly been a lot of hoopla over whether Google has oversold the capabilities of its low-cost streaming dongle, the Chromecast. In its initial debut, Google mentioned that the Chromecast would be able to support apps that deal in local media — homemade pictures and video — in the same vein as Apple TV. When the feature wasn’t present on the device at launch, developer Koushik Dutta created AllCast to bridge the gap. But this weekend, Dutta posted on Google+ that Google nerfed the app and punted it from Google Play.

What gives?

Swapnil Bhartiya of AndroidSutra reached out to Google, and reports that he received a thorough statement from the company:

“We’re excited to bring more content to Chromecast and would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content. It’s still early days for the Google Cast SDK, which we just released in developer preview for early development and testing only. We expect that the SDK will continue to change before we launch out of developer preview, and want to provide a great experience for users and developers before making the SDK and additional apps more broadly available.”

It seems that Google isn’t keen on blocking apps that facilitate local content streaming — the company has just decided to keep the SDK under wraps until it is ready. Developers have rushed to create apps for the technology while it remains in beta, so it’s not too much of a stretch to consider that some changes to the firmware would make apps like AllCast go dark.

While it’s still a bit of a pain for those looking to stream local content without having to wait, the formalized SDK could hint at bigger opportunities to open up Chromecast. If Google is a good sport about making Chromecast as open as possible, then the technology (especially at its current price) has the opportunity to blow anything out of the water. And, if the enthusiasm from developers in any indication, there’s going to be a rich app environment in due time.

So, unfortunately, it’ll be a bit before you’ll be able to seamlessly port your own media to your TV. But that doesn’t mean that Google is vengefully sealing off apps that don’t meet its overall aims. So calm down — you’ll get your local content streaming and maybe even some extra goodies to boot. You’ll just have to be patient and wait along with the rest of us.

This article has been updated to clarify Google’s position on apps that facilitate local media streaming.

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