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Sunday, 6 October 2013

Google - why did you do this to me?

Yesterday I got a package in the mail - A Google Chromecast.   If you don't know what one of those is it's a cool little dongle that plugs into an HDMI port on your TV and makes it an output device for content from the Web.  These are not yet sold in New Zealand.  In the USA, of course, they are available for just $US35.  Not a lot of money in anyone's language.  I imagine if you have a friend or relative in the USA you could easily get one of these as a gift.

The beauty of this device is that it is driven from any suitable internet device, PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.  No ugly remote control with obscure and meaningless buttons, just a device that you are already using.  When you get some great content on your device you can 'cast' it to your Chromecast-enabled TV.  Magic.

[Here's my rant, see my later comment at the end.  My mistake as it wasn't as ugly as I first thought]

So I excitedly unwrapped the device, noting the USA power plug - no problem if your TV, like mine, has a USB connection as you can use that for power.  Plugged it in, grabbed my Nexus 7 tablet, and navigated to the setup website.  This transferred me to the Play Store and to the Chromecast app for Android.  This is where I got very annoyed.  The Play Store won't allow me to install the app because 'the product is not yet available in my country' !!!

Why did you do that Google?  I wasn't trying to buy one - I already have one.  It is available in my country - it's in the back of my TV.  All I want is the software to let me use it.  What's the problem with letting me have that?  The world isn't going to end if that happens is it?

I got around the problem by using my Windows 7 laptop.  Added the equivalent app and away I went. However I can't use my Android tablet for this.  I am about to buy an Android smartphone but it won't work on that either.  So I am stuck with using my laptop - at least that works.  I googled this issue - there are some very complicated ways to get around this involving shuffling Google accounts etc.  That's too stupid and dangerous.  So I'll just keep muttering under my breath.

[red-faced correction for the rant above - It DOES work with my Nexus 7 - it's just the setup app that is restricted.  While that is still stupid at least I can use the tablet with the Chromecast once it has been set up.   Joy joy happy happy]

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