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Google Releases Chromecast App for iOS

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,474
11,862



Google has released its official Chromecast app for iOS today, allowing Apple mobile devices to officially control the HDMI accessory. The app allows for functionality such as managing Chromecast settings for changing the name, password, and settings of the device, as well as allowing setup of the Chromecast through an iOS device. The app also allows users to stream content from iOS apps, including YouTube and Netflix.

Chromecast is the easiest way to enjoy online video and anything from the web on your TV. Plug it into any HDTV and control it with your existing smartphone, tablet, or laptop. No remotes required. Cast your favorites from YouTube, Netflix, Google Play Movies and Google Play Music and Chrome to your TV with the press of a button.
Originally announced and released in July, Chromecast allows for functionality similar to AirPlay and Apple TV, allowing users to mirror content from a tablet, smartphone, or computer. Following the launch of Chromecast, Apple lowered the price of its refurbished Apple TVs to $74, offering a $24 discount off of its intended $99 price. Additionally, a comparison chart between Chromecast, Apple TV, and media device Roku surfaced to examine the differences between all devices.

Google's Chromecast app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Google Releases Chromecast App for iOS
 

The Phazer

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,855
501
London, UK
I read the update--And the fact remains Google intentionally blocked the local content workaround at the moment.

"Intentionally blocked" is a pretty different thing from "was indifferent about breaking something acting against the terms of what is clearly marked as an unfinished SDK."

Anyway, this app - surely this is irrelevant to actually casting to a Chromecast? The app wouldn't be able to affect what YouTube or Netflix did inside their apps.

It's just the settings app, yeah?
 

Northgrove

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2010
1,131
416
Chromecast isn't able to receive streamed data directly from any device, so AirPlay would be hard.

Chromecast is actually running a simplified version of Chrome OS, i.e. a Google Chrome browser on a chip that you give commands to.

For example, to play a YouTube clip, the app actually tells Chromecast to "Visit YouTube and play this clip at this address". No video is sent from your device! That's why it can do Netflix, YouTube, or mirror a Google Chrome tab (it simply visits the page for you), but why AirPlay would be hard and probably also suffer in quality since it'd need to stream AirPlay via some proxy website. It can show anything that Chrome can show easily, but everything else is hard or impossible. It'll probably never be able to mirror an iPad display.

Chromecast has unofficial PC desktop mirroring support, but I assume this one uses some proxy method, so that your desktop (grabbed by the local Google Chrome) is sent somewhere on the web, and Chromecast retrieves it from there. If this method doesn't support audio, that would explain why this experimental feature indeed doesn't mirror audio along with the screen.
 

JGRE

macrumors 65816
Oct 10, 2011
1,012
664
Dutch Mountains
Chromecast isn't able to receive streamed data directly from any device, so AirPlay would be hard.

Chromecast is actually running a simplified version of Chrome OS, i.e. a Google Chrome browser on a chip that you give commands to.

For example, to play a YouTube clip, the app actually tells Chromecast to "Visit YouTube and play this clip at this address". No video is sent from your device! That's why it can do Netflix, YouTube, or mirror a Google Chrome tab (it simply visits the page for you), but why AirPlay would be hard and probably also suffer in quality since it'd need to stream AirPlay via some proxy website. It can show anything that Chrome can show easily, but everything else is hard or impossible. It'll probably never be able to mirror an iPad display.

Chromecast has unofficial PC desktop mirroring support, but I assume this one uses some proxy method, so that your desktop (grabbed by the local Google Chrome) is sent somewhere on the web, and Chromecast retrieves it from there. If this method doesn't support audio, that would explain why this experimental feature indeed doesn't mirror audio along with the screen.

Just wondering....what can it do, what an ATV can't?
 

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
0
I read the update--And the fact remains Google intentionally blocked the local content workaround at the moment.


You don't seem to know what the words "fact" or "intentionally" mean.

If I released an unsupported iOS app that relied on an unlisted testing feature in OS X Mavericks that was removed or rewritten during the developer preview, you wouldn't be dogging Apple for anything, you'd be saying "well, what did they expect? it wasn't even an approved feature, and it wasn't made for that purpose!"

This is the same thing, only the developer reverse-engineered Google's proprietary code to enable the work-around. That's not a reliable solution for anything. It's possible that all they had to do to "break" his code is to recompile the source a slightly different way, or standardize the name on a couple of functions, or merge a couple of code libraries that were redundant.

We have no idea, but it is transitional, early code, and they said as much right from the start. Google isn't known for malicious coding. It isn't worth the investment of developer time, and it isn't worth the potential backlash. This is a company whose major products are all free.

----------

Chromecast isn't able to receive streamed data directly from any device, so AirPlay would be hard.

Chromecast is actually running a simplified version of Chrome OS, i.e. a Google Chrome browser on a chip that you give commands to.

For example, to play a YouTube clip, the app actually tells Chromecast to "Visit YouTube and play this clip at this address". No video is sent from your device! That's why it can do Netflix, YouTube, or mirror a Google Chrome tab (it simply visits the page for you), but why AirPlay would be hard and probably also suffer in quality since it'd need to stream AirPlay via some proxy website. It can show anything that Chrome can show easily, but everything else is hard or impossible. It'll probably never be able to mirror an iPad display.

Chromecast has unofficial PC desktop mirroring support, but I assume this one uses some proxy method, so that your desktop (grabbed by the local Google Chrome) is sent somewhere on the web, and Chromecast retrieves it from there. If this method doesn't support audio, that would explain why this experimental feature indeed doesn't mirror audio along with the screen.

Not quite right, there. When you cast a Chrome tab, it doesn't go and pull that content from the internet directly via the Chromecast. That wouldn't be possible on things like websites that require authentication. It is casting directly from your local device (laptop, for example), and sending that info (audio and video) to the Chromecast directly.

I can Cast my work email, which won't even let me log in to two browser sessions at once using two different browsers or two windows of the same browser. It's legitimately like "screen sharing", and there is experimental support for screen sharing, as well. That isn't going out to the internet and coming back to the chromecast. It's staying on the local network.
 

ssspinball

macrumors 6502
Aug 6, 2008
316
99
You don't seem to know what the words "fact" or "intentionally" mean.

Google inserted this code with the obvious purpose of blocking this workaround:
Code:
if("mirror_tab" != a) {
return null;
}

This code prevents the ability to play media from external sources. Seems pretty clear cut, no?

There's a lot more detail in the ArsTechnica post here.
 

PracticalMac

macrumors 68030
Jan 22, 2009
2,806
4,979
Houston, TX
If Apple made the ATV App to allow Android control/use it, would that make help Apple in ATV sales?
Or will it loose too many iOS sales?

IMHO, ATV is a sales point, like the Kindle Fire. Its value comes from the media it sells, not the device itself.
Apple should sell the ATV for $59, make an Android app to control it, and watch iTunes profits surge!
 

JimboLodisC

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2013
1
0
This statement is false. That's not how Chromecast works at all.

Exactly. Also, this app isn't needed to cast. The YouTube and Netflix apps should do it already if you're up to date. The article makes it sound like you need this app in order to cast. The app is simply for connecting to your Chromecast to set it up. Once you're up and running, you can delete the Chromecast app if you'd like.
 

Codestud

macrumors member
Nov 1, 2011
83
40
This statement is false. That's not how Chromecast works at all.

Yes, the Chromecast's main function is to just receive coimmands from a mobile device which tells it what to play. However, AFAIK it does also have mirror-like functionality built in as well, although it is currently rough around the edges and is not as good as AirPlay.
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,632
815
Los Angeles, CA
Apple should sell the ATV for $59, make an Android app to control it, and watch iTunes profits surge!

I disagree. Keep it at $99 even bump it to say $129, spice up the specs with 802.11 AC, better graphics etc.

As for the Android app, something tells me that many if not most android users are devoted google store users so iTunes profits wouldn't surge so much cause they would still be buying for their own. Making it all moot.
 

fallenjt

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2013
519
43
For example, to play a YouTube clip, the app actually tells Chromecast to "Visit YouTube and play this clip at this address". No video is sent from your device! That's why it can do Netflix, YouTube, or mirror a Google Chrome tab (it simply visits the page for you), but why AirPlay would be hard and probably also suffer in quality since it'd need to stream AirPlay via some proxy website. It can show anything that Chrome can show easily, but everything else is hard or impossible. It'll probably never be able to mirror an iPad display.

From what you said, after you stream the movie, you can power off your mobile device and it still casts the program from online content? Doesn't sound like it.
 

ghostface147

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2008
3,350
3,030
Other than playing with it when I first got it off a contest on androidcentral, it has only been used for a live fantasy football draft. I only would care for it more if I could stream local content.
 
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