Six members of Google’s Chromecast team took to Reddit to host an AMA this morning. Majd Bakar (Engineering), Ambarish Kenghe, David Allison and Mark Scott (Product), Sarah Walter (User Experience) and Jacky Hayward (Community) spent a few hours tackling user questions in their thread.
The session was light on revelations, though the timing is interesting given yesterday’s appearance of a device that appears to be a second generation Chromecast passing through the FCC. More likely, the timing was intended to coincide with the announcement of the Nexus Player, Google’s first Android TV device which also packs Chromecast functionality in, launching next month at US$99.
On the differences between Chromecast and Nexus Player, Ambarish pointed out that all Android TV devices have Google Cast support built in, meaning they get the same experience. He didn’t seem to want to be drawn on whether Android TV represented the future of the Chromecast device line. He offered that the team continues to see strong support for Chromecast from users.
There was a large number of questions along the lines of “when will [service] support Chromecast?”, and it was disappointing to see that Google’s usual line continues to apply — they’ve provided the tools, you’ll have to harrass [service] to get them to support it. It’d be good to see Google get out there and actually evangelise their platform with popular services like Spotify and Amazon Instant Video. Personally, I’d like to see them even offer some manpower towards helping smaller organisations with implementation.
One of the big things that’s stopping wider adoption of Chromecast for things like presentations and meeting rooms is its lack of support for enterprise-grade networks with WPA2 encryption. That doesn’t look set to change any time soon, although it was good to see some acknowledgement from the Chromecast team that they’ve finally heard the feature request. This doesn’t mean we’ll get it any time soon, though.
Some of the more interesting things that the team is looking into include an early-access solution for partners to test updates (it seems some recent updates broke a few features), supporting screen casting on more devices (although this requires a per-device approach as they need to look into the Wi-Fi stack to ensure certain features are supported), using a single Chromecast on multiple Wi-Fi networks, and a solution for using Chromecast on wireless networks that require post-connection authentication (ie, a hotel network).
While the AMA is now over, the team has promised to stop by tomorrow to pick up any additional questions and responses. If you have a question for the team, head on over and ask!
What features do you want to see on your Chromecast? Tell us in the comments.