Chromecast and Moto X

I think I just saved $500 by spending $35.

I'll most likely be canceling my Xbox One subscription this week. It's not that I wouldn't love to have one — I loathe that aging, noisy beast that's currently in my living room. But it's getting harder and harder to justify that much money on some that's mostly been replaced by a $35 USB-powered dongle. No, I won't be playing hardcore games with it, and it doesn't get anywhere near replacing Kinect. But I think I'm going to be replacing my old Xbox with a cheap Blu-Ray player and calling it a day.

But maybe the most important part of Chromecast is one that's gotten short shrift in nearly every review I've read, including ours. Chromecast is in its infancy. Having an SDK — software development kit — means that anyone and everyone can essentially write an app for it. Koushik Dutta — the developer behind ClockwordMod recoveries and Helium backup (to name but two projects) has been teasing a few on Google+. Streaming local files from a phone or tablet. Streaming files from Dropbox. Streaming files from RSS (and wrapping them in individual channel UIs).

And that's just one developer.

Reviews of devices are great. But it's important to remember that Chromecast is just getting started, with the SDK currrently available as a developer preview. It'll be interesting to how the ecosystem grows. You can't yet distribute Chromecast apps. Will it be a walled garden? Wide open like Android? I imagine anything that plays alongside DRM-enabled apps like Netflix will have a bit of oversight along with it.

A few other thoughts on the week that was, and the week ahead ...

  • I'm getting the feeling that the Moto X is going to be a lot like the HTC One, where folks just aren't going to get some of the features until trying it, never mind how much we show them off.
  • Example One: All these cries of "Show the screen on time!" in this Google+ post. Never mind that part of the appeal of the Moto X is that you'll not be turning on the full display as often as you would any other phone.
  • A few more quick thoughts on Moto X. Love the size and the shape. The display is good, but not great. Not sold on the camera yet, or the camera app. Battery life seems to be pretty damn good. But when will manufacturers learn to under-promise and over-deliver?
  • But anyone who writes that the Moto X should launch with Android 4.3 because Google owns Motorola clearly has no idea how Android is distributed. Would I love to see that? Sure. But that's simply not the way things work.
  • Shifty Jelly is awesome.
  • I'm really happy to see that Google's bringing the ability to find lost phones — and wipe them if they're gone — to ordinary folks. That's long overdue. If you'll allow myself to quote myself, "It should be as easy to remove your life from your phone as it is to sync it there in the first place. It's that simple, and it's that important."
  • We've given away so much stuff lately, it's hard to keep track. But we've got so much more coming. NVIDIA sent along a whole mess of stuff for us to review with Shield, and that'll be coming your way, too. (Along with a couple extra Shields.) And we've got more new Nexus 7s, as well.
  • I'm headed back up to New York City this week for the LG G2 event. Fans overhyping phones is one thing — what LG does before launches these days is something else altogether. (Vienna Boys' Choir, anyone?) Still, should be a fun event, and LG's a fun company.
  • And Motorola should get some kudos for it's events in New York last week. A much more intimate briefing. Not quite one-on-one, and probably a bit hurried, but absolutely more useful than a overproduced presentation.
  • Talk Mobile's on its week off. Be back next week with some cloud talk, I think.

That's it for this week. Let's get to work.


Reader comments

From the editor's Desk: Chromecast a go-go


You can get it cheaper than that on Ebay,if you can't wait for the supply to replenish. Got mine for 58 bucks.

Just get on that waiting list from best buy. Their still doing the 3 month Netflix. Also Amazon even with the wait will be your best option.

Via Android Central App from a Galaxy Note 2

So did you never intend to game on the xbox when you got it? I agree that you should not spend 500 to stream Netflix, but If that was the only reason you pre-ordered it then it was a bad idea to start with. If you wanted it for games then obviously the chromecast does not replace it.

Posted via Android Central App

I had the same plan : XBOX ONE as media center.

Mainly for Netflix and Hulu +. And YouTube.

I am also rethinking...

Posted via Android Central App

This. Or even just go "old school" and use a laptop and HDMI cord, like I do.

Posted via Android Central App

I can already do two of the three things with my Roku box.
Stream videos from my phone/tablet, and from Dropbox. Not sure about the RSS.
Granted a Roku box is more expensive, but I already have it.

It's kind of exciting Chromecast is possibly going, hope Google doesn't throw roadblocks in its way.

Why you buy an Xbox One for just media centre usage when there are loads of cheaper options and a lot cheaper at that. Am I missingasomething?

XBox Live is greatest ripoff in human history. How Microsoft was able to get away with charging people to access services they already pay for, and not get stormed with torches and pitchforks is completely beyond me.
I love my Chromecast and it is replacing every streaming device in my house (2 Roku's and a connected Blu-Ray), as soon as I can get my hands on more of them :(

XBox Live started out as a multiplayer gaming platform. Only later did it add multimedia capabilities. So for those of us that bought it for multiplayer gaming, the other stuff is a bonus and extends the value of the subscription.

Sorry, but thats stupid. If you pay to own an Xbox, Pay for an internet subscription, and Pay netflix to stream stuff, then why the hell do you have to pay for a live subscription just to watch Netflix? None of that makes sense.

He just told you why.

But if you want it again: you might pay for those three things, but the Xbox isn't a NetfliXBox, it's a game console that later had a Netflix app added as one of the benefits of subscribing to premium content.

I'm not saying it's right, and it's definitely a rip-off, but one thing it isn't is hard to understand.

Reason I pay is for playing online with my friends. If you just buy xbox for Netflix than yes, your wasting money.

Via Android Central App from a Galaxy Note 2

Agree with mintvilla... xbox live subscription to use Netflix makes no sense.

Yes... if you play games online... its a "bonus" for you... I understand that... you have no problem with it because it does not affect you; but before blindly defending the practice try to see the other side for a moment: many enjoy playing games on the Xbox... but don't do the online multiplayer. You're telling me Microsoft... we're talking MICROSOFT... couldn't pull the netflix & other apps outside the walled garden of a Live Gold subscription?

They could... it would be easy... they just choose not to, and its a ripoff! Silly that (for those of us not into online multiplayer) its more cost effective to buy a secondary box like AppleTV or Roku than to use the xbox to do this. (It would be one thing if we were talking theoretically here... but Xbox ALREADY streams these services and does so quite well. Its just MS chooses to be the only one to charge a recurring fee for that privilege.)

Then don't subscribe. Use another device for Netflix. Not counting Android devices I have three other devices that can play Netflix on my TV which aren't the XBox: Roku, TiVo, and Blu-Ray player. 90 percent of the time I access Netflix using the Blu-Ray player because it takes to long to boot the XBox just for that purpose.

And I don't subscribe.

I'm not an idiot. The point of this is not a workaround (yes I have many other devices that can stream Netflix... Chromecast, Rokus, 2 Bluray players, ipad, etc...)

My point is that Microsoft walling that up is a ripoff. You don't pay an extra to stream Netflix or Hulu on any of those other devices. If they really wanted the Xbox to be more ubiquitous & not just a gaming device - they could keep that separate from Gold subscription. I, for one, would have bought a 360 years before I finally did were that the case.

I stand by my statement that its silly that buying a whole extra device (roku, chromecast, etc) to do something that my current xbox is 100% capable of doing... can actually pay for itself in only a few months. Would mean less shelf space clutter, hdmi inputs, and fewer raw materials consumed if my perfectly capable xbox (I already own)could do that without the extra charge.

I'm in for the chromecast contest! Is that still going? Yes? K I'm in for one then.

Posted via Android Central App

unfortunately, the Chromecast can not do MLB.TV just yet...

not that it matters... Yankees and Giants both suck big time this year. :(

Chromecast replacing an Xbox?...

That's like saying that a Walkman replaced my car because it plays FM radio.

Posted via Android Central App

weel, if you are not using your car and all you use it is for the music then it makes perfect sense.

Just went to Google and am showing the Chromecast is in stock, although there's a 2-3 week wait for delivery.

Posted via Android Central App

its in stock in playstore but out of stock elsewhere. you can still order it and wait 2-3 week to get it.

I am digging using the Chromecast it’s awesome… What would make it more awesome would be some big app makers taking advantage of it… So far Netflix is the only third party but hail Google and Netflix would like to see more going on there… I love the screen saver abilities of the Chromecast too but would be nice to have it show custom… Maybe Google could set up a custom page where we can add a lot of custom features…
The Chromecast was really easy to set up was almost too easy and like you said you’re thinking of canceling your Xbox subscription I was thinking of canceling my Sony… As I haven’t turned my Playstation on since I been using my Chromecast…
I stopped using a DVD player and recently been just building an online library of movies and sort of getting more into the age of using Digital Media… To me using digital streaming media storage or purchases is the future… Just pray their libraries never shut down while I am alive… With that I am hoping for Video on Demand by VUDU… I still prefer to buy hard copies of block busters but for small stuff it’s good!
Either way my Old/Ancient Samsung 48’ LCD TV has seen brighter days but with Chromecast it feels like it’s closer to the newer TV’s… Funny thing is after using the Chromecast I decided to upgrade my TV… :p Go Figure.

I have a Buffalo Cloudstor, it is your own personal cloud. So if Chromecast can stream from that one device, I will be all set and you never have to worry about a site closing your library down.

Posted via Android Central App

pre-ordering an xbox one should have never even crossed your mind in the first place.

Posted via Android Central App

I want one really bad. I've entered your contest everyday ! Lol have you guys picked the winners yet?

Posted via Android Central App

I just got notice august 24 from amazon. This was a great article. I will share to all the ipeople just to open some eyes.

Posted via Android Central App

Lol... if you think that Chromecast can replace an Xbox, you sir have never fully used your Xbox... and why would you spend $500 on an Xbox one? Wow....

Thats for sure. I prefer the P S 3 but Chromecast does not remotely replace either even as just a media streaming device. The level of Android fanboyism here is out of control.

Ya no kidding. I know this is an android site but wtf? No way could a chromecast replace an xbox or ps. That has to be the dumbest thing I've read on here. If you never intended to play games then why the hell would you spend $500 on one???

Posted via Android Central App

Alot of folks do use the xbox to stream Netflix. Now you have to have a live subscription to utilize that function. That is Not the way it should be. The Chromecast is a much more power efficient way to stream Netflix, youtube, etc. It's app compatibility is going to grow, and fast.

Posted via Android Central App

"when will manufacturers learn to under promise and over deliver"

Hello!? well said sir, well said.

Posted From my HTC One running PlayBook 3.0 via Android Central App

I know how Android is distriibutd and there is no good reason Moto X shouldn't have it. Unless you belie e the silly propaganda about their being a firewall between Motorla and Google.

Exactly. Motorola should have the latest version of Android before everyone else. You bought a darn cell phone manufacturer, and you make software for cell phones!

Posted via Android Central App

You also don't want to piss off every other android manufacturer....

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Im shocked by the chromecast hype considering full featured android tv devices sporting youtube netflix and way more are so cheap. $42 the Mk808 a dual core jellybean sporting android mini pc streams hd video and is expandable via usb

Posted via Android Central App

Because the chromecast is smaller, more efficient and it's just the beginning. More updates soon will make this thing even better. Plus for $35 it's still cheaper than the 808 thing your talking about. Plus, on my tv it's actually powered by the usb pretty and I didn't even use the power adapter.

Via Android Central App from a Galaxy Note 2

My Chromecast Haiku:

Chromecast is great.
I'm so happy I won one from AC.
Wait, I didn't win one from AC.
I'm sad now.

Me neither, oh wait but I bought one as son add they came out

Posted via Android Central App

Exactly what I'm most excited for about Chromecast. I'm getting one, and honestly it's for that reason, so I can try to make some really cool applications using it.

My chromecast replaced a roku in bedroom. In living room I'm sticking to ps3. The menu on ps3 is just awesome.

Via Android Central App from a Galaxy Note 2

My ps3 is the biggest holdback in me purchasing a chromecast. I've been controlling Netflix and YouTube from my mobile devices for a while now.

Posted via Sprint and a miracle.

I just began using my Slimport for the Nexus 7. I found that attempting to use the Xfinity Player app would not work. One you try and play a video, the app stupid and a message appears saying that you must "disconnect the external display first". So some companies are really against moving comment from the small screens to big ones without there permission.

also: I am all about entering to win a Shield, bring it on!

Posted via Android Central App

Wow, just wow.

For some The Chromecast can only stream services such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. You can't stream videos from a local storage (reliably and in good quality), but most importantly you can't play games! Who would ever buy an Xbox as a media device? It's a fricken gaming console man.

You stated "But when will manufacturers learn to under-promise and over-deliver?"
What good does this due when media outlets and the press spend weeks spreading and repeating the same baseless rumors and call it news.

Mine is scheduled to ship on Amazon on the 31 so I got some time to kill.

Posted via Android Central App

i wish they would incorporate continues playback on netflix when using chromecast. i love that it works, and it works great, but i hate having to pick the next episode just to keep enjoying playback.