So, I was wondering how #chromecast
does its magically simple setup. It's quite clever I think.
After a tipoff from a random comment I loaded up my wifi analyzer while I started from a factory reset.
1. Power on Chromecast by plugging into TV.
2. Chromecast immediately becomes a Wireless Access Point broadcasting an SSID of chromecast####
3. You run the URL or app to setup your device. (The necessary thing here is that you are connected to same Wifi network you want the Chromecast to use.)
4. The app passively scans for SSID's using the standard wifi system in your device. It's looking for chromecast####.
5. If it sees a chromecast#### id, the app displays that it found the device, and asks if you want to connect to it for final setup. The slight-of-hand begins here.
6. You select yes to continue, but it warns you that you will lose internet access briefly. It doesn't tell you why.
7. The device app or laptop then logs out of its Wifi Access Point and logs into the Chromecast itself. If you check your device wifi, you are now connected to chromecast#### (it's open without encryption)
8. The app prompts you to enter the wifi password for your wifi network. It helpfully auto fills in the SSID you were just connected to. This programs the chromecast's WiFi setup.
9. Chromecast will attempt to connect to your wifi. If chromecast is successful, the app/laptop silently reconnects back to your wifi, and your internet access is restored.
10. Your app searches for the chromecast now connected to your wifi network.
Total user time is about .5-2 minutes. Now this is how to get a dongle onto your network that's so easy grandma can do it.
I wonder if Google has attempted to patent the process.