August 27, 2013, 6:00 AM —
Source: Google Chromecast
Google's $35 Chromecast dongle has been out in the wild for a while now, and hacker-types have been tricking it into doing some things that aren't listed on the tin, so to speak. Specifically I'm talking about streaming local content.
There's an Android app called AllCast that let you stream content from your Android device, Dropbox or Google Drive via your Chromecast. As of the most recent Chromecast update, it no longer works, and apparently this is the second time that an update broke the app.
The developer, Koushik "Koush" Dutta, surmised that since this has happened twice, Google must be doing it intentionally. That got a lot of attention in the tech press and for good reason; most of us appreciate the extra functionality that hackers like Koush provide us and we don't want Google (or anyone) getting in their way.
But maybe Google isn't being as "evil" as it first appears. When The Verge reached out to Google for clarification, they got this quote in response:
"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."
So, assuming you're ready to believe the PR, breaking AllCast wasn't intentional; it was just part of the process of continuing to refine the Chromecast SDK, which is not final. Hopefully these early troubles won't put app developers off the device.
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.