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Chromecast News Round-Up: App Updates, Hackathons, and Free Movie Offer

It’s all a-movin’ on the Chromecast front: from app updates, to hackathons; from a new SDK to wider availability of the device itself online.  

In this round-up we take a quick look at some of the more notable news in the world of Google’s Chromecast.

Chromecast Comes to Google Play

In the biggest sign yet that Google’s media streaming device Chromecast is about to get some much-overdue attention, a dedicated section for supported apps has appeared in the Google Play app store.

Its shelves are a bit bare at the moment, but many of the essential big-name apps are there, including:

Chromecast Android App Redesigned

Talking of Android’s app store, the official Chromecast app (used for setting up the device) has received a minor visual update. Falling in line with other Google apps it now uses a drawer menu to house settings, and features a small link to applications that are compatible with the device.

Download Chromecast for Android on Google Play

Chromecast Available To Buy In More Stores

Are you selling the Chromecast? No? Well that makes you just about the only one!

I’m exaggerating of course, but following Motorola’s lead US super-chain Walmart ($29.98) and the US mobile network Verizon ($34.99) have also added the media-streaming device to their online stores. 

Is this a sign that it’s doing well? That’s hard to tell.

Official sales stats on the Chromecast aren’t publicly available, so the sudden branching out to regular retail outlets (previously being an Amazon and Google Play Store exclusive) means it is either selling really badly – “Please! Help us shift some stock!”  – or really well - “Please! Help us keep up with demand, superstores!”. 

I’m inclined to think that the reality lies somewhere in-between.

Free Movie When You Buy From Google

If  a discounted dongle from Walmart doesn’t tickle your pickle, Google are offering a tempting festive offer: buy a Chromecast from the Google Play Store, BestBuy or Amazon US and they’ll throw in a festive free film rental!

The caveats are limited: you must buy from one of the US stores above, and online before December 25th; the film rental cannot cost more than $6 – oh, and you have to be in the USA.

Google Play purchasers will get their gift code via e-mail, while Amazon and BestBuy customers will find it on their receipts.

Best bit: Amazon are currently selling the Chromecast for just under $30.

Buy Chromecast from Amazon.com (Af.)

Chromecast Door Creaks Open to 3rd Party Dev

Since the launch of the streaming device earlier this year, 3rd-party developers have been chomping at the bit to be allowed to build apps for the Chromecast and have a way to distribute them officially.

Fast forward a couple of months and there is finally a sign that things are beginning to move in the right direction: Google are holding a ‘Chromecast Hackathon’ next week, say Engadget.

A number of prominent community developers have been invited to the event. Here, Google will also offer a preview of an ”upcoming release” of the Cast SDK.

I’ve always been convinced that 3rd party developers will be crucial to the success of the device. While “big name” apps like Netflix and HBO Go are vital. it will be the wider developer community who will exploit its potential to the fullest.

  • Boothy

    Wider availability.
    Got my hopes up there,
    Then realized just more shops in the US. Still to short of stock to be bothered shipping anywhere else in the world (yes, there is a world outside of US borders)

    • http://omgubuntu.co.uk/ Joey-Elijah Sneddon

      I’m in the UK, I feel you.

  • MaitreyaVyas

    Still it’s not available in the place where I live. India
    But N5 and new N7′s available here officially. :/

  • LS650

    I was thinking of getting an HP 14 (not the Pavilion) but still not available in Canada, and there’s no ETA…

  • LDB1

    No free movie promocode at BestBuy with Chromecast purchase during BlackFriday sales. Receipt gave no promocode and service manager in Canoga Prk store knew nothing about it.and passed me off to call Chromecast tomorrow. BestBuy fail!