Chromecast ability to cast local content via AirCast/AllCast “intentionally” broken?

by: Chris SmithAugust 25, 2013


A recent Chromecast update has apparently broken the functionality of an Android app that lets users cast local content from the Gallery, Google Drive or Dropbox, with its developer saying the company may have “intentionally” done so.

Developer Koushik Dutta, who has worked on getting the Chromecast to cast content from various sources before actually releasing several beta versions of AirCast (also known as AllCast) once he was able to reverse engineer the process, posted on Google+ that the app will no longer function.

Dutta speculates that Google may be interested in having only certain content run on the Chromecast, as the company appears to have disabled a feature of the Chromecast intentionally:

[quote qtext=”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(1) 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.” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

Does this mean that the Chromecast won’t be as open as Android users expect it to be? It’s too early to say, but what’s clear is that so far developers have not been allowed to publish any apps that would let Chromecast users stream content from local sources – Dutta was able to release his app because he bypassed the restrictions in place with developers by reverse engineering the Chromecast.

It’s also pretty clear that Google wants users to get their content from certain sources including Google Play – Netflix support is included, and other companies including HBO and Hulu are actively working on bringing their content to Chromecast users. But that does not necessarily mean that local content will be off limits for Chromecast users.

At the same time we’ll remind you that Chromecast users are able to cast Chrome tabs from their computers to the TV, which gives them sort-of an alternative of enjoying content that’s not officially supported.

Dutta went on to advise potential Chromecast buyers to stay away of the device for the time being, until Google’s intentions regarding the device are clearer.

What are your thoughts on this particular matter? Does streaming local content from your devices matter, or are you happy with the Chromecast streaming only Google-approved media?

  • Brute

    Maybe google has planes to add similar funtionalty in Key Lime Pie?

    • Perv Bear

      That or Google wants people to wait till SDK is green lit?

    • ziplock9000

      The does not answer why they removed it on the chomecast side.

  • seyss

    and you hypocrites insist is saying google is not evil

    • paxmos

      First time I hear this !!!

    • APai

      yes, not in this case. read jcondon666
      ‘s comment above ^^
      and on another note, they ALL are evil and make their moolah with our data, including microsoft! they are ALL in bed with NSA the data playboy :P

  • jcondon666

    The original Verge article is why I hate how poorly people report technology news. It is just full of hearsay and misinformation. First, Google is fine with sharing your personal content on Chromecast. There are several companies working on this. They will released when the SDK is finalized.The real problem was the author of Allcast/Aircast reverse engineered the protocols and used the preview SDK in an unlicensed manner. I believe it more likely this exposed security holes that Google fixed.

    Yes, until the final SDK is released, Google is tightly controlling apps, but there’s nothing evil or underhanded about it. It’s more likely making sure there’s good user experience for Chromecast.

    • Piyush

      No offense but , Why would Google care if it’s an hack or not? They don’t care about any of the Android hacks…

      If it breaks with the official SDK release, then… the developer would have to fix it.

      No point in intentionally breaking it now.

      • jcondon666

        I assume Google would care if it’s a security hole. Since Allcast wasn’t using the approved method for development, I think it makes sense that he found a security hole which Google closed. Of course this is IMHO.

  • Pety

    No problem,we can use adaptors and cables to see on the tv screen.

    • kascollet

      How modern.

  • Ray

    Do no evil Google, remember?

    • melhiore

      They forgot a lot… I’m more and more often wondering if I should go somewhere else…

      • Just

        This is a monetary based system society. There’s no where you can go. Oh not exactly, there’s a way, The Venus Project.

  • 1776usa2016

    What the h*ll Google.

    Why do you care if I cast my kids little video?


  • Thomas Mc

    A year from now nobody will even remember Chromecast. Today Google announced what it will replace it with next summer: Nexus TV.

    After Google TV, Nexus Q, and now Chromecast, you’d think they would just give up.