Apparently Google isn’t being very friendly to developers who have made apps for their Chromecast device. Koushik Dutta had engineered an app last week called AirCast, which allowed users to stream local files from a user’s gallery, Dropbox and Google Drive to the Chromecast dongle. Google updated the Chromecast firmware, rendering Koushik’s app worthless.
Here’s a few words from Koushik, from his Google+ page:
Heads up. Google’s latest Chromecast update intentionally breaks AllCast. They 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.
I’d strongly suggest holding off on buying a Chromecast until we can see how Google chooses to move forward on third party applications. There are also other (open) platforms and stacks that one could buy/support as well. (LeapCast, NodeCast, etc)
While Google has offered its SDK to some apps that would like to provide Chromecast support, such as video streaming services, we’re not so sure that Google will allow apps to be developed for the device. It looks as though Google wants to retain significant control over their dongle, at least for the time being.