Google cripples Chromecast

According to AllCast developer Koushik Dutta, the most recent Chromecast firmware update not only breaks the functionality third-party apps were using to stream local media and other stuff that doesn’t have built-in Chromecast support but breaks it on purpose.

It’s like they don’t want people to buy it.

  • GadgetGav

    Hardly that surprising. If Google wants Chromecast to be more of a success than Google TV was (is it on more than half all TVs sold yet?) they’ll have to bend to the will of the big media companies more than they did last time. Remember when Google TV was launched and was blocked by a lot of companies..? If they block “holes” like this that allowed people to move content around as they pleased as opposed to how the media companies allowed, they’re more likely to be able to sign big headline deals on content. It’s that which will help sell the device, not ‘openness’ that pleases a small geek crowd.

    • Techpm

      That many not be the case, because while Google blocks this, they are leaving Chrome browser casting method wide open – not sure the media companies like that very much… They’re certainly not bending there…

      Just seems that what Google wants to keep all media streaming under their control, to track everything as is usual of them.

      • Idon’t Know

        Not yet.

  • gjgustav

    Third party apps don’t necessarily show Google ads. There’s a reason Google can sell this device for $35. It’ll be subsidized by Google ads.

    • Source?

      It’s live now, I’m not sure how you get to subsidizing a released product.

      • Sebastian Paul

        There’s something called “firmware update”, it has been invented a few years ago, shortly after some wise people invented something called “software”^^

        If you want to see an example for additional monetization possibilities added to a released product ->

        • Well aware of possible updates for monetization but that’s not the same as subsidizing. Chrome is getting content from numerous sources on the web (beta) and apps. They can’t subsidize from random sources.

          • Sebastian Paul

            Yes, they can.

            They removed ad blockers from Google Play a few months ago and by doing that, subsidized from random sources.

            How that works?

            It’s easy, you just need to OWN the vast majority of ads on the web and in apps.

            If you see an ad on the web, there’s a good chance Google is involved.

            By removing ad blocking apps on Android, Google is securing the business model of all companies that sell ads. And Google is in this business too, is owning it.

          • You do realize developers make money from ads, right? Removing ad blockers is a great thing for the app community.

            Yes it helps them as well but I definitely applaud that change as ad blockers were detrimental to independent devs.

          • Idon’t Know

            Thats has nothing to do with your actual question. You switched from acting like you didn’t know what was going on to being an apologist for it. Yes, it is that obvious.

          • You must not have read the discussion. Sebastian switched to discussing Google’s removal of ad blockers.

            I have no idea what you mean regarding acting like I didn’t know what was happening. I clearly followed Sebastian just fine in our discussion.

      • Idon’t Know

        Google follows what you do on Chromecast just like any other Google service and collates that information with other things they know about you then sell it to advertisers. Plus its more data about you they can hand over to the NSA.

  • Agarun Ilyaguyev

    “..local media and ‘other stuff’ that doesn’t have built in Chromecast support..”

    Wait, if that ‘stuff’ didn’t have support to begin with, how is blocking its hack pathway “crippling” Chromecast’s functionality?

    Chromecast’s shtick has been streaming web video from the get-go. Some people hacked it to stream local content and Google, analogous to what Apple did in the past with ‘jailbreak-crippling’ AppleTV updates, issued an update to block it.

    Nothing extraordinary to see here.

    • Techpm

      Apple never blocked anyone from streaming local videos to the Apple TV.

      There’s even apps in the App Store to do just that.

      • Agarun Ilyaguyev

        Not my point.

        Google blocked hack that enabled ‘the stuff’ that wasn’t meant to be a part of Chromecast’s functionality in the first place. Namely, streaming local content. Blocking the hack isn’t breaking Chromecast’s functionality or “crippling” it. Everything that Google showcased/promised at their keynote, and that they advertised since, continues to work fine.

        • Mother Hydra

          this is a money grab, nothing more. If Google wasn’t so lax about private APIs (I’d call those ‘hacks’ too) then maybe I could see your point. This is Google deciding when it is convenient to be good to folks. But that is what they get when they decided to pit their product (us) against their customers (advertisers).

        • Idon’t Know

          So what if its not your point. It’s his point. Obviously streaming local content is meant to be part of Chromecast else Chrome wouldn’t be able to do it via Chrome tabs. That didn’t just happen by magic.

  • imthedude

    More of the google “openness” people love to talk about.

  • Moeskido

    Is “broken” the new “beta”?

  • ‘open’ ftw

  • the Ugly Truth

    “do no evil”….ahhhh GOOG!

  • They didn’t cripple it just plugged a hole that blocked an app.

    This title is akin to saying Apple cripples ios every time they block an app.

    • Sebastian Paul

      I already wanted to say this, but now there’s also someone who drank the kool-aid, thank’s for that^^…

      Apple gets bashed whenever they block something from the Appstore, Eric Schmidt famously used this a few times to force Apple to accept Google Now and this was also used with Google Maps.

      He talked about how he HOPED that Apple might accept their app, even though it was not even submitted for review.

      All the fandroids raged that Apple will never accept Google Now and Google Maps and was therefore a dictatorship.

      So when Apple blocks an app, they Tim Cook is a fascist censor, but when Google blocks one, it is okay?

      What i did write:

      Google changed their developer policy, banning gambling, hate-speech, erotic content from their Play Store. They also banned apps that added ads to the homescreen and notification bar (something that should have been banned from the start!).

      People in the forums applaud, because “Google finally does something to stop these shady developers”.

      Apple? Still seen as a dictatorship for doing the same.

      Apple does something: BOOOOOHHH

      Google does the same: YAAAAAYYYY

      • Are you implying I drank the kool-aid or someone else? If me, you’re wrong. I loathe this change but disagree with Jim’s title and never applauded this decision/change by Google.

        There are always two sides to the coin. Apple is applauded by a very vocal press for being so strict: no porn, safe for kids, etc. Google blocks anything and you see the parrots bring out “don’t be evil” and “open ftw” comments; it happened on this post and every other Google post Jim puts up.

        Two way street here.

        • Idon’t Know

          You have rationalized and apologized for it in multiple posts in this thread. We can read.

          • I never apologized as I didn’t do anything to apologize for. I agreed w/ Google’s position on blocking ad blockers though.

        • Sebastian Paul

          It’s not even a street.

          Apple has stated from the beginning of the Appstore, that they will monitor which apps will enter it.

          Google on the other hand has this “Don’t be evil” policy and are using the “Everything must be Open” metaphor to make other companies do what is best for Google.

          Not for the users – for Google.

          If they were looking only at customers, ads that can hijack the notification bar like the sh*t from AirPush would have never been allowed.

          Hell, if it had been possible to implement such ads on iOS and Steve Jobs had such an ad hijack his notification center, he would have either died from very loud cursing or the developer would have gotten a very angry phone call by Steve himself, telling him to “FUCK YOURSELF AND GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY APPSTORE!”

          Google didn’t care about this for two years.

          The problem with Google is not exactly that Google is banning stuff that is bad for users – the problem is that Google has always preached that banning stuff is evil.

          It’s not the banning, it’s the lying that is ridiculous.

          • The press/pundants go both ways on reporting it [re: 2-way street]. Jim rarely bashes Apple for blocking an app but will jump on Google with a snide “open” remark. I get the situations are different but it goes both ways.

            Also, Google never said everything must be open. They have a lot of proprietary stuff. Open comes from Android/Chrome. The rest of their properties are closed, aside from code libraries like AngularJS, etc.

            AirPush is a joke. Now that we can agree on. It’s just an “app” though so no real reason to block it since you can easily uninstall it/apps implementing it.

            I think you’re stretching it with the ‘banning stuff is evil’ bit. I’ve had my finger on the Google pulse and aside from their legit beefs with Apple over apps [Google Voice mainly; rest seemingly flowed normally] they haven’t preached anything, sans Schmidt blabbering about approval delays. 🙂

    • Idon’t Know

      Tell us why you are apologizing for Google.

    • lucascott

      More like how Apple purposely targets jailbreaks with each update. Implying that they don’t go after bugs and holes for overall security but merely to screw with jailbreaks

  • Idon’t Know

    Open always wins!

  • ompus

    I’m still waiting for my $35 airplay dongle. It’s like they don’t want people to adopt it