Chromecast has become arguably the second-most popular mini PC on the planet after the Raspberry Pi with its low-cost and ability to stream video from the web, controlled by a PC, tablet or smartphone.
However, not long after its launch, developers found a way to add in the one missing feature many users were looking for – the ability to stream local video content. AirCast and Fling were two apps released in the last few weeks that enabled users to do just that – and to be sure there were no licensing issues, neither app used Google’s Chromecast SDK.
But over the weekend, Google updated the Chromecast OS – itself a modified version of Android – breaking the newly-found local streaming capabilities of the device. Was the move intentional? That’s hard to say – possibly it was. As liliputing.com points out, having the ability to stream video from any Android app certainly wouldn’t make Hollywood sleep easily. However, AirCast developer Koushik Dutta seems to have no qualms believing Google killing off Chromecast local streaming was intentional.
But seemingly in response, Google released a statement to US website The Verge, saying “We’re excited to bring more content to Chromecast and would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content.” However, since the SDK is still officially on in ‘developer preview’ mode, it’s only meant for testing at this stage and that further changes before it reaches are more mature level and is offered more widely to developers.
So for the time being at least, local streaming via Chromecast remains a no-go. In the meantime, it’d be an interesting exercise to see just how difficult it is to achieve something similar with an existing Android-based mini PC and various apps available on Google Play and elsewhere.
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