Google’s Chromecast has been quite the exciting device since it was announced at the company’s Nexus 7 announcement event weeks ago. It’s so exciting, in fact, that folks have had a tough time finding freely available stock at participating retail stores and in the Google Play Store. It was no surprise, then, that the development community embraced Chromecast and started creating interesting apps to use with it.
One of those apps was Koushik Dutta’s AirCast, an app that would allow you to play almost any media file on your device to your Chromecast. “Koush” explains this isn’t the first time this has happened, noting that Google disabled the original GoogleCastSample app that was essentially a default media player, of sorts (something the Chromecast doesn’t ship with).
Now, Google has disabled the API developers have been using to create third party apps (‘video_playback,’ in case you were wondering), leading him to believe Google is intentionally looking to create a walled garden, of sorts, for Chromecast content.
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.
There’s no telling if this is Google’s true motivation. And even if it is, that doesn’t necessarily mean Google would look to stay the course forever. The only thing anyone can do for now is hope that the development community finds a workaround. Even still, Koush says buying a Chromecast at this point in time isn’t the greatest of ideas (unless, of course, you’re perfectly happy with the functionality Google currently provides).
UPDATE: Google has responded to concerns that they’re simply looking to block streaming from locally stored content. Looks like this was nothing more than a misunderstanding. In a statement issued to The Verge, Google said:
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.