We've been following Google's Chromecast
device ever since it was first announced earlier this month, and it didn't take us long to pick one up for review
. At just $35, we concluded that Chromecast is easily worth every penny. It's cheap, easy to configure, and for the most part, it just works. It's a no-brainer purchase if you can take advantage of its functionality, though a recent update to the product's firmware may prove a game changer for some.
Let's backtrack a moment. Android
developer Koushik Dutta also got his hands on a Chromecast device and was quick to reverse engineer the stick so that he could create an app called AllCast. With this app, users were able to stream content right from their Android smartphone or tablet.
While that sounds pretty awesome, Google's latest update killed AllCast support, and Dutta believes it was an intentional move on the search giant's part.
"Heads up. Google's latest Chromecast update intentionally
breaks AllCast. They disabled 'video_playback' support from the ChromeCast application," Dutta explained in a Google+ post. "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."
Dutta doesn't believe Chromecast will end up an indie friendly product and says Google will likely only whitelist media companies. If that holds true, it's a definite blow to those who hoped Chromecast would as open as Android, though Google has never said it would be.