Google has disabled access to its Chromecast device that allowed apps to stream local content to the device.
The reverse-engineered method of sending arbitrary content to the Google Chromecast has been locked down by an update to the dongle’s operating system. Is Google removing Chromecast’s potential best feature?
Koushik Dutta, the author of the app AirCast, which was the first to be able to send unsigned content to the Chromecast, posted a message to his Google+ feed which claimed that Google had deliberately broken the AirCast app with its latest firmware update. This, Dutta wrote, confirmed some of his suspicions about the way Google planned to take the device. “The Chromecast will probably not be indie developer friendly,” said Dutta. “The Google TV team will likely only whitelist media companies.”
That may or may not be true. It is worth remembering that Google hasn’t removed an advertised feature of the device, merely closed a hole in the API which Dutta reverse-engineered. This allowed any app to effectively ‘impersonate’ one of the Google-approved apps in order to send data to the dongle., There are a number of reasons that Google might want to plug a hole like that and there is no sign that Google is going to remove the feature that allows the contents of any Chrome browser tab to be mirrored on screen, which would imply that at least some arbitrary content is going to be somewhat welcome in the future.