Google’s Chrome web browser and Chrome OS operating system come in stable, beta, and dev channels. And it turns out the company’s Chromecast media streaming device is no different.

Out of the box, the $35 media device runs the Chromecast stable software. But if you want to switch channels, developer Jay Lee has posted instructions.

chromecast beta channel

At this point the only thing that seems to change when you switch channels is that you can see the build number, IP address, and channel info on the home screen when you switch to the dev or beta channel.

Typically Google rolls out experimental features to the dev channel first, and then makes them available in the beta and eventually stable channels once they’re a little more fool-proof.

In other words, switching to one of these channels is likely to introduce bugs — but it might also give you an early look at upcoming features.

It’s interesting that Google is taking a Chrome-like approach to channels for the Chromecast. While the company says it runs a modified version of Chrome OS, under the hood it actually seems to be running a modified version of Android which boots the Chrome web browser. Ultimately I guess it depends on how you define Chrome OS.

Keep in mind though, Google doesn’t make it easy to switch channels on the Chromecast. Lee’s instructions involve rooting your device, connecting to it over telnet, and running a series of commands which will reset your device and remove root access. There’s no guarantee you won’t break your device in the process.

On the other hand, a replacement will only cost you $35.

via Chrome Story

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5 replies on “You can switch Chromecast to dev or beta channel”

  1. how can you backup the ROM? thru USB micro? to maybe an SD-card?, so that if you want to go back to stable? as then you would have to wait for next update unless you have backup?, that’s how it works on my ChromeBook when I switch?

  2. This has been bothering whenever I read that “modified android reveal” but…

    A modified version of android… without dalvik? So that basically means… straight linux? Which is what ChromeOS also runs under the X11 hood?

    1. Insn’t Android without its GUI, Dalvik, and related libraries just a kernel with some core user-mode libraries? Not sure this is “Linux” in the usual sense at all.

      1. It’s Linux according to Google and according to Linus, right? It’s the Linux kernel at that point. I suppose you can call it the “Android Kernel” like gtvhacker does, since the android kernel *is* the Linux kernel, but that seems… weird? Especially when talking about what ChromeOS has as a kernel.

        1. I read they only used a portion of it?, it’s not the complete kernel?, I don’t know how that works until we see the released code..

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