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back to article Google cripples Chromecast third party replay

The Chocolate Factory has decided Chromecast was a little too capable, it seems. The developers of the Fling app, which allowed users to stream local content via Google's video dongle, are complaining that a recent software update has killed it. Fling isn't the only app to get find itself rolling in the dust after being chucked …

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Devil

Would you buy...

Buying Google Chromecast is like buying a new car, where after the first 100 km the manufacturer decides to remove one of the wheels.

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Re: Would you buy...

Buying Google Chromecast is like buying a new car, where after the first 100 km the manufacturer decides to remove one of the wheels.

As I read it, it's like they take one of your regular wheels, while wanting you to replace it with one of THEIR wheels at a "very reasonable" subscription charge. Drive by our rules and conditions or not at all.

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Re: Would you buy...

Like pretty much everything these days, it seems. Yes, Sony, Microsoft, I'm looking at you.

Add Chromecast to the "do not buy" list along with Xbox and Playstation, I guess.

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Meh

This

Smacks of the way Apple operates. It leaves a bad taste.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Would you buy...

Doesn't Google tend to base it's firmware on Linux? If so then it should be a very easy target to hack...Lots of inherent security limitations and high vulnerabilitiy counts ftw....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Would you buy...

"Linux ... Lots of inherent security limitations and high vulnerabilitiy counts ftw...."

Got a source for that?

CVE (or similar) references welcome.

Or continue as you are, looking ignorant and ridiculous.

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Pirate

Re: This

I'd agree with that except I can, and always have been, able to fling any content I like to my apple tv. The only restriction I face (because I'm lazy) is encoding it in a format iTunes is comfortable with.

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Re: Would you buy...

More like, i add functionality by some third party unsupported hack, then complain because it stops working. Would you blame the car company, or the one who based their product on an unofficial unsupported hack?

If you want the product based on its sdk support, the sensible buyer advice is to wait until the sdk is released. Making a judgement now either way makes no sense. And for ppl who don't care, the functionality advertised by Google hasn't been broken, so your analogy is invalid.

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Windows

Re: Would you buy...

Actually buying a Chromecast is like buying a razor-blade handle, it's incredibly cheap but the maker expects you to keep on buying expensive blades that only fit that handle for ever and ever. Making your own blades or buying cheap Hong Kong knockoffs is not part of their marketing plan.

Old Smelly 'cause he doesn't have Gillette moments.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This

Not really, I have an Apple TV and a few iPads for the kids. We made a stop motion video the other day with some dancing dolls (StopMotion3 IIRC). Encoded it into whatever Apple used and displayed it on the TV. The kids loved seeing it there.

So whilst Apple and Google can be complete twats in somethings (Try syncing iCoud contacts with Google Mail Contacts without copying them to your Mac first), Apple do allow you to throw local content to the TV. I quite fancied one of the chromecase things to update my TV, stuff Google, I'll pass.

Google is very quickly becoming a pretty shitty company. I can remember those halycon days of 'Do No Evil' and Google would 'do the right thing'. No longer. The nice thing is that in ten years time they could be dead and buried as other companies start to eat their lunch. I'm old enough to remember IBM and how massive they were, then how they almost wen bankrupt and how they've risen from the ashes. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

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Re: Would you buy...

Chromecast was advertised as being able to stream from providers such as Pandora and Netflix, or from Chrome. After "the wheel was removed" it can stream from providers such as Pandora and Netflix, or from Chrome. The functionality you can no longer do was provided by 3rd party developers after Chromecast was reverse engineered.

So a better analogy would be...

Buying Google Chromecast is like buying a new car, where after the first 100 km it does exactly what it says on the tin, but the seat cover you bought doesn't fit.

That's the truth, but it doesn't mean you have to stop hating Google (so no rabid downvoting please).

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IT Angle

Re: Would you buy...

Typical.

WAtch all videos of Ford Mustang being rolled out with tires made for high performace cars.

But once you follow that car then the dealership will ALWAYS replace the expensive tires with All season tires.

Moral collapse in judgement.

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Re: This @AC 11:40

IBM never nearly went bancrupt. They had plenty of money washing around even in their darkest days in the mid '90s.

It suited them to have a few bad year's results so that they could take some large tax write-downs and not get hammered for their extensive employee shedding exercises.

If you go back to the published results from the mid-90s, and read between the lines, there was still profit being made, money and assets in the bank. It's just that their transformational restructuring costs could be counted as a loss as far as the bottom line was concerned. IBM has some very skilled financial engineers.

Anybody who thinks that IBM is anything other than a quiet giant should look at their share price. Investors are confident, and IBM has irons in more fires than any other IT company. It's just that companies like Microsoft and Apple in particular have inflated value because of various flavour-of-the-month products. I would trust IBM to still be around when Apple have run out of ideas and the PC wave is over and Microsoft are just a patent troll.

And to think I used to think that IBM were the enemy! Either they've got better, or I've just mellowed.

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Devil

Overreact much?

Looks like Google has already come out in support of streaming local content. I am sure nobody is going to apologize for freaking out.

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"Open always wins"

Which company said that?

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Re: This

Perhaps. But judging by the sales, it seems people *like* the way Apple operates or, at least, don't object. Given how much more profitable it is to have your own successful ecosystem it would be irresponsible to their shareholder not to try an emulate Apple. Don't get me wrong, I have no Apple produce because, to me, they really don't taste good. But I were the CEO of a major software company I'd feel obliged to cover my butt on this one.

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Happy

Mellowing to IBM

You must not have watched the dance of real world -> value units -> more expensive licenses than you expected recently.

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HMB

T.S. Update Policy

Google does seem to operate a "Tough Sh*t" update policy.

Whether it's the removal of the Navigation app (built in to maps now), or the nasty pastel colours on gmail contacts, who know's what my phone is going to change to tomorrow. Yay!

It's good to know that having a Nexus device though that I'll be able to get barely tested OS updates when they come out.

(I've been a big fan of Android, I've got respect for iOS and Windows Phone, but Android offered me the free satellite navigation I wanted at the time. I'm now more open to being wooed by another phone OS than ever before and I'm looking at Ubuntu in particular.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: T.S. Update Policy

Is one extra click to get to navigation really that much of a big deal? Th enew navigation seems far better IMHO. Better options to choose your route, delay avoidance, better alerts etc

Apps that auto-launch navigation still auto launch it and start navigating automatically (just tried it on the app I wrote). So you could easily put a third party search and nav launcher on there.

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Re: T.S. Update Policy

I'm very wary of updating anything on my galaxy tablet for exactly these reasons, it seems to be about 50 / 50 as to whether an update is an improvement, or removes functionality I had come to depend on (not just google apps either, pretty much everything from the play store)

I was however pleasantly surprised when I dared to update youtube the other day. They seem to have finally gotten round to respecting your autorotate settings, so I can prop the thing up in bed and not have to watch my video at 1/4 the normal size. Now all we need is proper support for comments.

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Ah...

Google shafting its "customers" again, you say?

*twiddles with thumbs*

Wonder how good the MK802 would be as an alternative, though.

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Re: Ah...

What gets me is that the ability to play from your device's local gallery is about the only useful thing that the Chromecast does. Or did.

I hereby dub the Chromecast the "Google Lemon".

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Re: Ah...

It's annoying, though most TVs on sale today already play local content, and there are plenty of other solutions for that. But the streaming functionality, and mirroring displays, is less easy, and at $35 I'd buy it just for that. It does mean it won't kill off smart tvs, but it was stupid to claim that in the first page.

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FAIL

Re: Ah...

Except that the Chromecast was NEVER advertised as being able to play local content. In fact, the main complain about it at launch was that it couldn't.

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h3
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Re: Ah...

My TV is perfect for DNLA (Panasonic uses Access DNLA software).

It has some apps but I don't use any of them other than sometimes Netflix.

Being forced to use chrome is not worth it for me.

(If it just acted as a network screen in the correct way for all OS's it would be better.)

Google were ok when what they wanted and what I wanted aligned but it no longer does in any real way shape or form.

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Re: Ah...

You don't have to use Chrome, you can use the IOS or Android app instead.

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Anonymous Coward

Removal of features

advertised by Google is a no-no. Question is, was the removed feature advertised by Google?

I suspect not.

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Re: Removal of features

Quite, the only ones promising the functionality were those apps, and they are the ones ppl should be annoyed at for offering functionality that then disappears. Was this using the official 3rd party sdk? I thought that hadn't been released yet. As a developer, i wouldn't expect to base something on an unsupported api, then go crying when my app breaks.

I hope they do add the official sdk, with local streaming. But even without any such support, it still seems a bargain for what it does now.

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Re: Removal of features

"Was this using the official 3rd party sdk? I thought that hadn't been released yet."

There is an SDK, but it is clearly marked as being in beta:

"Warning: The current Google Cast SDK is a preview SDK intended for development and testing purposes only, not for production apps. Google may change this SDK significantly prior to the official release of the Google Cast SDK. We strongly recommend that you do not publicly distribute any application using this preview SDK, as this preview SDK will no longer be supported after the official SDK is released (which will cause applications based only on the preview SDK to break)."

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Thumb Up

How to make friends in the dev community

In all honesty, this is the sort of bloody minded move which I'd expect from MS (to hell with what the users want) or Apple (they'll do it our way or not at all). Well played Google.

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Anonymous Coward

They need to be able to track and inject ads into everything. Otherwise there's no point them selling this thing so cheap. So yeah, third party steamers are not welcome.

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Especially if they're from Cleveland.

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Facepalm

Inject

They were not prevented from injecting ads into any content which passes through Chromecast. This move actually gives them fewer opportunities to make money or track you!

Your hatred is invalid. Have anther go.

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Meh

Typical Google circa 2013

All of your streams are belong to us.

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Remember the good old days?

When Google ads were unobtrusive, an evil neccessity that supported the search engine and helped finance new toys?

Now, If it doesn't get ads to the the users, it gets the chop, and the ads, they are everywhere!

Google is now the monster it once fought.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remember the good old days?

"Google is now the monster it once fought."

Do, now, evil.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remember the good old days?

Indeedy. Those who want Apple and Microsoft to vanish need to realise that as Google become bigger they become more controlling and evil.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remember the good old days?

(We) Do Know Evil.

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WTF?

Re: Remember the good old days?

Google ads are still unobtrusive! They don't put ads in Netflix on Chromecast, so do you think that will also get the chop? In fact, the only thing to get the chop is an undocumented API which delivered unadvertised functionality. There was nothing stopping them playing an advert before any locally stored video if they really wanted to, but that's not what Chromecast is about.

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This is nuts

I don't see any benefit at all for Google in doing this. So what if people stream content from their local machines?

They're crippling a device for no good reason at all and it will generate a lot of negativity and ill will which could have been avoided. I hope it's a mistake since it would instantly turn me off the idea of owning one.

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Big Brother

Re: "I don't see any benefit at all for Google in doing this"

Google does.

Google sees all.

And then hands it over to the NSA.

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JDX
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Re: "I don't see any benefit at all for Google in doing this"

Grow up

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FAIL

So, it appears that Google have removed the very feature that would make me want one.

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Simple answer for those developers, make a simple Raspberry pi distro that performs what they need the device to do.

Cut Google out of the loop.

(Glad I didn't get one of the things)

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Anonymous Coward

Just copy the device in China for less and allow custom firmware. Job done....

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Anonymous Coward

A simple Linux distro ...

"make a simple Raspberry pi distro that performs what they need the device to do."

I'm not an expert in the field, but wouldn't RaspBMC (or similar) do much of the necessary?

"Raspbmc is a minimal Linux distribution based on Debian that brings XBMC to your Raspberry Pi. This device has an excellent form factor and enough power to handle media playback, making it an ideal component in a low HTPC setup, yet delivering the same XBMC experience that can be enjoyed on much more costly platforms. Raspbmc is brought to you by the developer of the Crystalbuntu Linux Distribution, which brings XBMC and 1080p decoding to the 1st generation Apple TV."

(continues at http://www.raspbmc.com/about/)

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g e
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Re: A simple Linux distro ...

Yup, or Xbian or OpenElec (my choice here)

XBMC is pretty flexible :oD

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completely shocking

I did not expect this from Google. Why would they do this as it only hurts them. These third party apps allow users to do things that aren't possible as standard and thus the product because more justifiable. I won't be buying this now as I only ever wanted it because it played local content.

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Anonymous Coward

local media

The Cloud exists. We have no need for local media.l

The Cloud exists. You have no need for local media.

The Cloud exists. They have no need for local media.

The Cloud exists. I have no need for local media.

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Black Helicopters

Re: local media

The Cloud exists. The NSA don't want you to have local media.

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