Chromecast and Android Limitations

chrome.pngAs you probably know, Google have made Chromecast available in 11 more countries (Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the U.K). The SDK is available for Android and iOS developers. The idea is that developers add the SDK libraries to existing apps to allow content to be viewed on the TV. More information is available in the Developers Guide.

One of the advantages of Chromecast over Apple TV is that the latter only works with Apple devices. Chromecast works from iOS, Android and the Chrome browser in laptops/desktops (Mac, Windows and Linux). This offers a new wide-ranging outlet for media owners.

Surprisingly, Chromecast on Android is more limited than on the other platforms. The Android SDK relies on Google Play Services (4.2+) which means Chromecast apps won’t work on AOSP (non-Google sanctioned) devices. This means it won’t work on forked versions of Android such as the Kindle Fire, Nokia X and many inexpensive Chinese tablets. Media owners such as the BBC are concerned about this and say, particularly of the Kindle…

"We recognize that the Kindle is an important device for BBC iPlayer in terms of usage and we have, on behalf of our users, asked Google to do what they can to support this platform." 

It’s an interesting dilemma for Google. Should they relax access to Chromecast thus enabling the types of device, the use of which, they wish to discourage. I suppose the answer comes down to this – What’s more important for Google, Chromecast or Android?