[Poll results live] Is Google subtly forcing Pixel owners into buying Chromecast devices?

New updates are being added to the bottom of the story…

Original story (from Dec 19) follows:

Today’s smartphones and smart TVs come equipped with some sort of screen-mirroring technology. Apple products have AirPlay while most Android devices and other operating systems have Miracast.

With Miracast, content on your small-screen smartphone or tablet can be viewed on a bigger screen like a TV without using any cables.

However, Miracast isn’t the only screen mirroring technology available today for non-Apple devices. Chromecast, which is Google’s answer to Miracast and AirPlay, also plays the same role.

apple-homepod-mini
Apple HomePod mini

Unlike the popular Miracast, though, Chromecast is still limited to select Google devices and Android TV-powered smart TVs. The technology is also baked into several apps, which makes the whole mirroring process seamless.

While having different mirroring alternatives to turn to can be a good thing for consumers, the fact that these technologies don’t always play nicely with each other is a big problem.

This is something owners of various Google Pixel phones including the most recent Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have had to find out not long ago.

pixel-6-inline

You see, unlike Apple whose playbook of a walled garden is known to everyone, Google or rather Android has always been about inclusion, where there’s room for everyone.

But lately, Google seems to be pulling a similar stunt. The company already has a bunch of hardware products that include the Pixel phones, Chromecast streaming dongles, smart speakers/displays, smart doorbells, and so on.

Like Apple, these gadgets tend to fair on better with their closest relatives compared to third-party players, which is the dilemma Pixel owners without Chromecast-enabled devices are having to deal with.

Apparently, casting or mirroring content to a smart TV that isn’t powered by Chromecast is not possible on the latest Google smartphone flagships — the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro — and older Pixel phones.

Google-Pixel-6-mirroring-casting
(Source)

So as the title says. I’ve been trying to cast my phone to either my pc, tv or Firestick but it can never find a device. After some reading it seems that Pixels don’t allow it unless you have chrome cast adapter?

A little frustrating consiedering my sub 200 dollar Motorola was able to mirror it’s screen on anything basically. I liked being with friends or family and showing some of my videos on the bigscreen with them, but now I need a chrome casst dongle??
Source

I purchased a Pixel 6 Pro and am disappointed with that decision. I’m disappointed with my Pixel 6 Pro because it will not cast to my Smart TV or Roku or other devices that do not have Chromecast. The Pixel 6 won’t discover any of my devices. I’ve never had a problem screen mirroring from other smart phones I’ve owned. I wish I would have known this because I would not have purchased a Pixel phone.
Source

On the contrary, those affected note that other Android phones can easily mirror content to these same smart TVs. The TVs in question, as you may have guessed, are not powered by Android TV.

As noted earlier, all Android TV units have built-in Chromecast support. This essentially makes it possible to accept cast content from a Google Pixel 6 or older.

But for TVs or streaming sticks powered by Roku OS, Samsung’s Tizen OS, Amazon’s Fire OS or LG’s webOS, casting from a Pixel 6 phone isn’t possible. Again, non-Pixel Android devices have no problem casting to these same TVs.

According to Google’s official support page, Pixels can cast or mirror to a Chromecast or any other device that casts. But for some reason, the latter case isn’t possible for multiple Pixel devices.

Google-Pixel-6-casting-and-mirroring

This then begs the question, is Google trying to push Pixel phone owners into buying Chromecast devices by limiting the ability to cast to non-Chromecast (3rd-party) TVs or streaming sticks?

If other Android phones can easily cast to a Samsung TV, Amazon Fire Stick, or Roku Streaming Stick, there’s absolutely no reason Pixel phones shouldn’t be capable of doing the same.

Heck, even Apple’s AirPlay is open to third-party TV manufacturers like LG, Sony, Samsung and Vizio. This means iPhone users are not limited to mirroring content to fellow Apple products like it’s happening with Google Pixels and Chromecast.

Sure, one might be quick to argue that Chromecast with Google TV is an inexpensive piece of hardware. But I shouldn’t be forced to buy one due to what seems like an intended software limitation by Google.

Chromecast-with-Google-TV-2
Chromecast with Google TV

Worth noting is it’s still unclear whether this is Google’s intentional doing or a bug. But what’s coming out clearly is that casting from a Pixel 6 or older can only work with Chromecast-enabled devices, and this is just absurd.

We will be keeping an eye on this development and see what may come out from Google’s end, but for now, we’d like to hear about your thoughts in the comments section below.

There’s also a Twitter poll that you can place your vote, with results to be revealed next week.

Update 1 (Dec 26)

The results for the poll are out. Of those who voted, majority doesn’t agree that Google’s is subtly forcing device owners into buying Chromecast devices. In case you missed the poll, you are encouraged to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Hillary Keverenge

A techy. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.