Chromecast users may eventually be able to fill in more gaps in the Chromecast app catalog by turning on screen mirroring from Android phones and tablets.
Koushik Dutta, developer of the existing Allcast app for Android, has shown off Android mirroring to Chromecast in a video on YouTube. He didn’t, however, give any sense of when this functionality would be available, or what system requirements would be.
Chromecast already allows users to mirror a browser tab from the desktop version of Chrome, and this helps mitigate some of the missing functionality of Google’s $35 streaming TV dongle. Indeed, Chrome mirroring has been especially helpful during the Winter Olympics for streaming live coverage from NBC’s website, provided you can authenticate with a pay TV provider.
Being able to mirror from a phone or tablet would be another way to fill in Chromecast’s content gaps, provided the system could keep audio and video in sync. That’s already an occasional issue with tab mirroring in Chrome, and Dutta’s YouTube demo doesn’t show any audio mirroring at all. The demo also shows a fair amount of lag between the phone and the TV display, so playing Android games on a TV would be out of the question with the current iteration of Dutta’s tech.
Ideally, more developers would just include native Chromecast support in their apps. This should start happening soon, now that Google has released an official software development kit and updated Google Play Services to support the new apps.
Still, it’s unlikely that all the apps you’d want to work with Chromecast will be available. Until that changes, an Android mirroring feature would be pretty useful.