We love us some Chromecast, but it has its shortcomings. While there are more and more services snuggling up to 'casting, the ultimate dream is being able to cast everything. We almost had a third-party app that could do exactly that, until Google put a stop to it.
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.
He put it this way on Google+:
Heads up. Google's latest Chromecast update intentionally breaks AllCast.
...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. The Chromecast will probably not be indie developer friendly. The Google TV team will likely only whitelist media companies.
That sounds doubleplus ungood. So long as the Chromecast keeps getting new media partners, the end result should still be a very usable device, but the lack of openness is still troubling.
If Google keeps Chromecast on a tight leash, it will probably still be a pretty good deal on a pretty good device, but a lot of awesome potential will go down the drain.