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The Kafkaesque Google Chromecast SDK

So you buy a Chromecast because it 'has an API'.

Applying for the API sucks: for every device + URL combination, you need to submit URLs to Google, where supposedly someone reads & reviews the request. This means you somehow have to build an app with the SDK, without any way to test it or confirm that it works at all - perhaps I'm misunderstanding this but it's kind of absurd at face value - build an app with an SDK before you can actually use the SDK to test and without any kind of 'emulator', and Google... looks at your broken app that's never been run before, and gives you the go-ahead? And as far as apps that you don't want to publish to the world, or you run on your local network? Unclear.

As far as whether it's reviewed by a human: it took my request 4 days to go through, so I'm guessing it is.

After you get 'whitelisted' you have to also add the whitelist to a backdoor-like option in the Chromecast extension that's only accessible by clicking a logo 4 times.

There's a tutorial for writing a sender, but no explanation of what a sender can or can't do, so basic questions like "do you need to have the sender open while content is viewed" are unanswered.

The API reference sounds like the code was written by one person and the documentation was written by another. A function called setReloadTabRequestHandler has documentation that starts with:

Sets the handler for the request to reload tab.

You don't say.

The rest of the Chromecast developers site has broken links to vital stuff like discovery state from Debugging - stuff that's really like step #1 for building an app.


I had high hopes for the Chromecast, but the whitelisting situation and the abysmal docs make it feel like something that I don't own and makes app development feel like bending to the will of Google, who can 'rescind' my right to do anything.

The developer situation feels unfinished and understaffed, and finding the seeds of knowledge is a challenge. In a way, it's sad because it seems like Google spent a lot of time making development harder by making the whitelist and spent way too little time making it possible with documentation.

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