Some thoughts on the recent Chromecast uproar:
According to our beloved developer +Koushik Dutta
, Google has purposefully blocked third party applications that were circumventing the non-finalized Google Cast SDK. Don't freak out. This is okay.
First some history. The Google Cast SDK is not finalized yet. Developers have to get their Chromecast's accepted into the development program to even run their apps that they are developing. That means apps that are being worked on cannot be distributed as 1) you need to have your Chromecast whitelisted and 2) you'll be using the developers app ID.
Enter Koush. Through some code digging and most likely a little bit of awesome, he was able to utilize another method to play content without the Google Cast SDK. Essentially, he found an unsupported, hacked up method to doing it. Awesome.
Doing so meant that the average user such as you and I wouldn't have to wait for Google to finalize the SDK and for Google to approve the app. Remember, all Chromecast apps must have official support/backing from Google.
Back to the third party app issue. They were nice. They added more functionality for those of us that wanted it and we didn't have to wait for an official app from Google. It was also exciting. However, everyone should have realized that an unsupported, hacked up method wasn't going to last forever. There's potential for major eye sores.
All Chromecast apps must be approved through Google. Why? Google wants a great user experience for Chromecast. Google wants Chromecast to be a high quality device that overtakes the living room. Poorly designed and buggy apps need not apply. You all know as well as I do what the Google Play Store looks like. There's plenty of amazing apps and plenty of horrible apps. Additionally, Google TV was a closed system too. Don't forget that Chromecast is from the Google TV team. Google TV isn't the most successful product.
For Chromecast to succeed, Google needs Chromecast to do something Google TV couldn't do and that's have the major backing and support of the content publishers. Us techies might want a little more under the hood but the average guy on the street could care less. He just wants his system to work and work well. Having a closed and monitored system will allow content providers to have their minds eased a little bit, knowing we won't be pirating everything they put out.
I'm sure Google will eventually resolve this issue for us. I'm sure we'll be able to view our pictures and our movies from our mobile devices. Remember, the Chromecast is just a month old. It will get better with time, as more apps are released. In the meantime, let's keep an eye on the developers pushing the envelope like Koush. Because of this whole debacle, Google now knows this is a highly sought after feature.