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August 2, 2013

Google Cast for Local Files

Who said that Google Cast is only for files stored online? Koushik Dutta, a CyanogenMod developer, wrote an Android app that lets you watch videos from your phone or tablet on your TV.

The application is not yet publicly available, but it's not difficult to guess that it uses a local web server. "It's heavily leveraging another project that I've been working on for the better part of 2 years," says the author. The project is probably AndroidAsync.

Here's a demo:

I'm sure we'll see Koushik's app or a similar app in the Google Play Store pretty soon. It will make Chromecast more useful. The next step would be to mirror the device, but that's a lot more complicated.

Right now, Chromecast is only available in the US, at least officially. If you're not in the US, you can try eBay and buy one for $45-70 + shipping fees.

Speaking of Chromecast, it's interesting to know that it doesn't run Chrome OS. It's based on the Android TV code. "It's actually a modified Google TV release, but with all of the Bionic / Dalvik stripped out and replaced with a single binary for Chromecast. Since the Marvell DE3005 SOC running this is a single core variant of the 88DE3100, most of the Google TV code was reused. So, although it's not going to let you install an APK or anything, its origins: the bootloader, kernel, init scripts, binaries, are all from the Google TV."

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