It seems our happiness last week was premature when developer Leon Nicholls announced the public availability of his Fling Java app that lets users stream media directly from their PCs to a TV via Chromecast. Google has apparently released an update to the device that effectively kills Fling and other apps like it.
Cyanogenmod developer Koushik Dutta made this otherwise unpublicized update known over at Google+. Koush was in the process of developing AllCast, an app that would allow users to stream media on local Android devices via Chromecast, bypassing the official methods. According to Koush, the update removed support for “video_playback”, an API in the ChromeCast app that was previously exploited to make local streaming possible.
Koush further says that this is not the first time Google has made a move that would indicate the company’s overall goal for the device. Currently, Chromecast only supports a limited number of video streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play Movies, with more coming in the future. Although it is also possible to play local content, it would have to be done indirectly by mirroring a Chrome browser tab using a plugin. It seems that Google will be curating Chromecast media sources, with a preference towards the big media companies.
While the direction probably makes sense on some business level, it is still disappointing to hear about Google pushing away third party developers and hackers. It’s still a bit early though and it would be wise to wait and see if Google will reconsider its position given the possible developer backlash they might receive from this.
SOURCE: Koushik Dutta