Google’s HDMI Chromecast dongle is great for streaming content from an Android device directly to a television set, but falls short of the Apple TV platform when it comes to full-on display mirroring.
However, that could soon be about to change, judging by code spotted within the Android 4.4.1 update which is currently rolling out to Nexus smartphones and tablets.
Cyanogen co-founder Koushik Dutta, whose company creates software to help users modify and extend the functionality of their mobile devices, thinks the screen mirroring roll out will be coming soon.
However, he believes the API will only be available to Google and the device manufacturers rather than becoming a tool that all developers are able to use for different purposes.
He said, judging by the code that the possibility of sending Android displays to hardware other than the Chromecast, such as Apple TV or Roku set-top boxes will likely be out of the question.
On his Google+ page, Dutta wrote: "From the patches I see in 4.4.1, they’ll be adding Android mirroring to Chromecast very soon."
"Unfortunately that API is not available to anyone but Google and the OEM. Similar solutions to different hardware can’t be built (Apple TV, etc). Kinda bull***t."
In the Android 4.4.1 software patches, the code for ‘Capture_Screen_Video_Output’ allows "an application to capture secure video output," but adds that it is "not for use within third-party applications."
Another hint is a change within Android 4.4.1 itself within Display settings. Instead of the ‘Wireless Display’ option, the setting now reads ‘Cast Screen.’ Interesting.
Google has been bigging up its Chromecast-compatible apps by giving them a section of their own within the Google Play store, but could things be able to get a lot more interesting for the little dongle?