The Chromecast runs a modified version of Android, so of course modders are all over it like white on rice. The folks at GTVHacker already gave us a working bootloader hack and root access, not that there's much you can do with it at the moment except switch to the beta or dev channel. Unfortunately, a quick over-the-air update for the Chromecast seems to have closed this modding avenue already.
The Chromecast has identity issues. It may be based on Android, but it updates like Chrome. The device ships on the stable channel, but it's possible to switch it beta and dev channels. These options are progressively bleeding edge, but this comes at the obvious sacrifice of stability, and there's a strong risk of bricking your device. Granted, it's only $35, far cheaper than breaking a smartphone or tablet.
Just like last year, the Google I/O app's source code has been released in an effort to get developers acquainted with Android best practices.
In a post to Google+ today, the Android Developers page outlined some of the things the source code has in store for those curious. Among them are techniques to implement responsive design across phones and tablets, use content providers and implicit intents in app navigation, using sync adapters to provide new content "in a battery-friendly way" and loads more.
In our Chromecast review, one of Ryan's complaints was that the device can't be used on public Wi-Fi networks, like hotels, for example. Unfortunately, that doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon, according to John Affaki, Engineering Manager for the dev experience on Chromecast. That's a real bummer for anyone who travels frequently and was looking to supplement the crappy hotel TV for something new and interesting via Chromecasts.
Attention, people of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland: you can now buy television shows from Google Play, both on the web and via your Android devices. Google threw the switch on the content earlier today, making the UK the first country to get access to TV shows on Google Play outside the United States. Content appears to be a decent mix of US and UK shows at the moment, though it's probably a bit anemic when compared to the US store due to good old-fashioned licensing issues.
Google Now has evolved into a surprisingly great contextual search and information system, but it still relies on user information for most of its content. According to a recent interview with Google's VP of search and assist Johanna Wright, that may be changing. QZ.com spoke to Wright, who let a few details on the possible addition of a local news card for Now.
Rumors about Chrome OS running on a tiny HDMI stick started leaking out a few months ago, but we were all wrong about what it was going to be. The Chromecast is not a shrunken down Chromebox – it's not even really a Chrome OS device in the strictest sense. The Chromecast is Google's latest attempt to be invited into your living room. It also might be the first one to succeed.
Googlers have alluded to an expansion of the Glass Explorers program for some time now, but we may finally be seeing some forward motion on the idea.
Posted by Explorer Ryan Mott and confirmed by Glass community advocate Sarah Price, the screenshot below shows an email being sent out to some explorers allowing them to "Invite a Friend" to become an explorer.
For now, Price indicates that the program is "an experiment," and independent of the previous #IfIHadGlass campaign, though some explorers from that contest "may receive this email."
We've reached out for more details and will keep you updated if more information emerges.
Remember when Google's app verification and malware scanning service debuted with Android 4.2? No? Well, that's probably because statistically speaking, you're likely to be one of the 95% of Android users rocking 4.1 or earlier. To help address this, it looks like Google has moved the Verify Apps system to Google Play Services, which at this point should be installed on all Google Play Store-equipped Android devices running Gingerbread or higher.
Update: Director of Product Management for Google Wallet Peter Hazlehurst dropped by our comments section below to confirm that Wallet is not compatible with the new Nexus 7 for the same reason as the HTC One Play Edition – the device does not carry a secure element, the small bit of hardware required to store encrypted card credentials on a device. This is required in order for Wallet to function, well, securely.