AllCast Blocked From Chromecast
Chromecast has been in the news ever since its launch for a lot of reasons but the most exciting one was the potential of this tiny device and how it can be used to not just stream content from services like Google Play and Netflix but also from local sources like Dropbox and Gallery.
Several developers have been working on apps that can take advantage of this potential but have been limited by the restrictions implemented by Google in order to secure its intellectual property. One developer by the name of Koushik Dutta was able to bypass these restrictions by reverse engineering the Chromecast protocols and released an app by the name of AllCast.
But it seems that the app’s functions has been rendered void by a number of recent changes to the Chromecast SDK which caused Koushik Dutta to claim that this was done intentionally to block his app. His Google+ post said,
“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.”
Naturally, a fire storm erupted around the internet after this accusation regarding AllCast and in order to put out the fire, Google in a statement told The Verge that,
“We’re excited to bring more content to Chromecast and would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content. It’s still early days for the Google Cast SDK, which we just released in developer preview for early development and testing only. We expect that the SDK will continue to change before we launch out of developer preview, and want to provide a great experience for users and developers before making the SDK and additional apps more broadly available.”
So there you have it, an early SDK or a developer preview is an evolving product, that doesn’t mean that the final code will look almost the same as the original one. So accusing a tech giant of blocking access is a premature reaction at this time.
Also, Chromecast is the key to Google’s living room dreams and it has been able to achieve a surprising amount of success. So, even if they do block access of AllCast, they are justified in doing so as it was never said that the Chromecast was meant to be open source. A controlled media device will mean more partners for the product and that is something that is crucial to the longevity of the Chromecast.[Via: Android Authority]