Google launched the Chromecast earlier this year, the $35 HDMI dongle has a lot of potential that has been locked down by the company. Immediately after it was released, independent developers managed to root the Chromecast, opening up a world of possibilities. Google then rolled out an update, breaking the ability to root the dongle. As of now users can only stream content from selected apps such as Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go etc, but its possible that the company might release an update soon that would bring a major feature. Android 4.4.1 was recently released and in its code, hints have been found of a feature that would allow users to mirror the screen of their Android device to Chromecast.
Koushik Dutta, co-founder of CyanogenMod, made this discovery. He believes that by the looks of things within the code, its possible that Google might switch on Android screen mirroring to Chromecast “very soon.” However, since only the OEM and Google have the API available to them, similar solutions to different hardware can not be built. Its seems logical for Google to go down this road, at least it will offer feature parity with iOS devices. Apple already allows users to mirror the screen of their iOS devices through the Apple TV. With Chromecast, it can essentially offer the same functionality at a fraction of the cost.
It was back in September when we first heard that Facebook was silently testing autoplay feature for native videos. Now the world’s largest social network is rolling out the feature on mobile. Native Facebook videos will now autoplay on mobile devices, a move that’s aimed at increasing interaction with videos uploaded to Facebook. Since the videos will automatically play in-line as users scroll, they won’t be locked behind a play button as before. Users won’t have to stop scrolling if a video catches their eye and tap on the play button to watch that particular video.
As previously mentioned, the feature is only limited to native videos, meaning those uploaded to Facebook itself or Instagram. Videos uploaded to third party websites, such as YouTube, will be locked behind the play button as before and won’t play automatically. Videos playing in-line will be muted so even if the user doesn’t want to watch a video, they can keep scrolling through without getting bothered by the sound. The sound will only be activated once the user taps a video in-line, which will then expand and unmute itself. Facebook says that the feature has already been rolled out internationally to iOS and Android users, it expects that all users will have the autoplay feature in the next couple of days.