Helium scratches a real itch for the platform. If you purchase a new device or wipe an old one, Google can re-install your previous apps, but it usually won't pull down your settings or game saves. That stuff's gone.
Helium works great for rooted users, but non-rooted folks have had to turn to a Windows or Mac tool to get similar functionality.
Koush has certainly been busy since his departure from Cyanogen Inc. After getting AllCast working on the Fire TV with a receiver app, the AllCast Receiver is now in Google Play for use on any Android device. This essentially makes your device a streaming target in AllCast, letting you send media from one device to another.
Now footloose and fancy free, or at least self-employed and unencumbered, Koushik "Koush" Dutta is expanding his popular AllCast streaming app to Amazon's new Fire TV set-top box. Unlike the Chromecast, Xbox, Roku, Apple TV, and various other gadgets with relatively open streaming profiles, the Fire TV needs a separate app to receive content from your phone or tablet. Just install AllCast on both and you should be good to go for local video and audio streaming.
The Fire TV component of AllCast is free, as is the basic demo Android app, but you'll need to pay five bucks for the premium version to get access to unlimited streaming.
Koushik Dutta, better known as "Koush" to the Android power user community, was one of the original Cyanogen, Inc. employees when the company incorporated last year. But he's been giving Android users some great stuff for much longer than that: most people's first exposure to his work comes from ClockworkMod, still one of the most widely-used custom recoveries available, not to mention various tools like ROM Manager, ClockworkMod Tether, and DeskSMS. Lately he's been expanding into more general apps like Helium Backup and AllCast.
Dutta left Cyanogen, Inc. last month to focus on his own professional app development under the ClockworkMod brand.
All those photos and videos you're saving in Google Drive aren't going to fly through the internet and cast themselves on a TV, are they? Wait, are they? Because if so, I think we have a mystery to solve. Since that's pretty unlikely, it's good that Koush's AllCast app has just been updated with preliminary support for Google Drive.
Koush's AllCast app does a good job of streaming media to all manner of set top boxes, and of course the Chromecast. However, it hasn't always looked awesome doing it. Well, now it does – the new update comes with a refreshed UI and adds Muzei support for good measure.
AllCast now has a much improved slide out navigation menu and tabbed browsing of media. The color scheme is nice too. Your Muzei extensions will also show up as sources for content in AllCast. I'm pretty sure there's going to be a toaster with Muzei support soon enough.
AllCast pushes locally stored videos and photos to various AirPlay/DLNA connected devices such as Smart TVs, the Xbox 360 (and the Xbox One), Roku boxes, and, originally, the Chromecast. Ultimately, Google released an update that broke AllCast's Chromecast support. But the company finally released the Google Cast SDK yesterday, and then, after getting prodded by a member of the Google Chomecast team to re-add support for Chromecast, Koushik Dutta returned the functionality to his app in supposedly under 20 minutes of work.
Chromecast support! (Requires new Google Play Services 4.2.34)
Better song info when playing music on DLNA or Roku
Power/wake leak fixes
Better photo support for DLNA
Fix for duplicate device entries in list
Fix crash on start
Fix AllCast running and eating battery when YouTube or Netflix are in use
We've covered Koushik Dutta's AllCast before: it's an Airplay/DLNA streaming app that lets you stream all the things. Now it's out of beta, and you don't have to jump through any hoops to get it: just head to the Play Store and download that sucker to your cell phone telephone. The free version includes advertising, splash screens, and a 60-second streaming limitation, while the $5 Premium unlock app is unlimited.
The app is a streamer for any local video or photos on your Android device. AllCast can stream to the Apple TV via AirPlay and pretty much anything with a DLNA connection, which includes Roku, both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, most smart TVs, and Google TV...
Android 4.4 has a new screen recording function for developers, but as the CyanogenMod team has already demonstrated, it can be adapted for more general use. Well-known developer Koushik "Koush" Dutta has taken advantage of this for Mirror, a new screencasting app for KitKat that allows any rooted user to either record video directly on a device, or stream to an Apple Airplay-compatible receiver like Apple TV. No custom ROM required.
If you love the idea of Chromecast but wish it worked with locally-stored media, then Koush's AllCast may be a solution. It doesn't actually stream media to Chromecast, but it does have support for Roku, Apple, TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TVs, Panasonic Smart TVs, WDTVs, and DLNA Renderers, so if you have one of those, then you're set.
Koush has been testing the beta application from his Google+ page for the past few weeks, but now he's created a beta testers group and released the app to Google Play, which means it's edging its way towards completion.