This $35 device, Chromecast, is turning out to be much more than what Google showed or told us. Not only does it turn your HDTV into external monitor for your Chrome tabs, it can also play local content such as videos, images and music via Chrome.
Now, Android users can ‘Chromecast’ any content - video or music stored locally on their devices to the connected HDTV. Koushik Dutta (Koush) of CM fame is working on an app called AirCast which allows one to ‘Chromecast’ any data from apps like Gallery, Dropbox and Google Drive.
- Are you a blogger? Now you can make money from Muktware....check it out: Muktware's Bloggers Network
So, all you need to do is drag and drop the desired content in these apps and play it on your Chromecast.
How to play?
If you want to play audio or video saved on your Dropbox or Google drive folder simply select that file and click on the share option. There you will see AirCast, select it and it will display the connected Chromecast device. Select it and it will start playing the content.
If you want to play data stored locally then open the Gallery, select the content, and then click on the ‘share’ option. There you will find the option to AirCast it.
Once it starts chromecasting the content, you can use your Android device for some other work. Unlike desktop, when you play any content through the Chromebrowser, there is no lag or delay.
The app is still in test phase still it works better than most stable apps.
The app will self destruct in two days as Koush writes in his post:
The APK will self destruct in 2 days; just looking for bugs and feedback right now. Any crashes, etc, should be accompanied with logcats.
Koush hints that the app may be made available later as a freemium app:
It’s a time bombed APK. This will be a freemium app eventually. I’ll also be releasing a Chrome extension (free), and and some code to show how I did this.
Coming closer to Ubuntu’s convergence
This app may die in Mission Impossible style but what it means is that Chromecast holds great potential for open source developers and content providers.
It opens the possibility of a new kind of convergence where you don’t need to physically connect your device with the HDTV or HDMI enabled monitor and use it as extended screen for your smartphone.
Just think of being able to work on your documents from your smartphone, which is chromcast on your 32” HD monitor. You can play HD games on your HDTV from your smartphone. There are many more such possibilities.
I think this is the kind of convergence Canonical was envisioning with Ubuntu TV, Ubuntu for Android and Ubuntu Edge. Google, without even hyping it packed all of that in one $35 device. You don’t need to wait for some ‘special’ purpose phone with a dock to achieve that convergence; it’s only $35 away and it’s already here. Canonical has a much more ambitious and grander plan for convergence and we will see it in 2014 when one code to run on all device will be available. Canonical has already tested the market with its Ubuntu Edge campaign and they may now have a better understanding of the buying capacity of their user-base.
2014 is still far, but the convergence has arrived, it’s now up to developers what they want to Chromecast.