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Android: manually install Google Play Services 4.2.39 so AllCast and others can stream to Chromecast

Posted by jpluimers on 2014/02/09

Over the years, Google Play Services has started to play a much bigger role, arguably more important than the Android version (also making it impossible to fork Android: Neither Microsoft, Nokia, nor anyone else should fork Android. It’s unforkable. | Ars Technica).

This shows again with the publication of the new Google cast SDK with public Chromecast support release last weak (I think the SDK name being broader than Googlecast means there will be much more to come in the feature).

Though most current Android users are still at version 4.1.32 of the Google Play Services, Google is rolling out a 4.2.39 version to enable that SDK. After it has rolled out to enough devices, then the Play Services library version 15 part of the SDK will be released for Android as well (which will complement the existing support for the iOS and Chrome platforms).

The odd thing: it looks like *some* developers already have this SDK, as AllCast already has been updated and it does not work with Google Play Services 4.1.32, but it does work with Google Play Services version 4.2.39. Below I show you how I tested this, and how to manually upgrade your Android device to use Google Play Services 4.2.39.

Google failing to expedite pushing 4.2.39 helped me

Due to the way Google fails to expedite distributing version 4.2.39 of the Google Play Services to paying developers, my Nexus 4 was still on Google Play Services version 4.1.32.

So I installed the new free AllCast version (there is also a payed AllCast version that can cast for longer than a minute), but it still could not use the Chromecast.

After that I downloaded the apk for 4.2.39 via [APK Teardown + Download] Google Play Services 4.2 Refines Play Games, Adds Cast API, Signs Of Auth Enhancements. I installed the APK using the Ghost Commander file explorer.

With Google Play Services version 4.2.39 AllCast suddenly could cast fine to my Chromecast devices.

Example of using a a file explorer to install APKs: Google Nexus 4: How to Install Third Party App APK File Outside PlayStore – YouTube.

For getting the URLs on my Android, there work nice: From Chrome to Phone (and Back Again) | Android.AppStorm.

Google does explain the Android being later than the other platforms

Quite a few developers complained about Android being late to this Chromecast game. But I must give Ali Naddaf credit for explaining the delay for the Android platform well. I regret that Android is late, but do get it that there are other platforms as well, and that developers now can at least use those other platforms.

AllCast does have access to the PS version 15 library

The (yet unreleased) Google Play services library version 15 enables applications to use Google Play services version 4.2.39.

Android applications that use the Google Play Services preview SDK (like Netflix and Hulu) can cast to Chromecast with Google Play Services 4.1.32 (I tested that with the YouTube app).

Since AllCast didn’t work with 4.1.32, but does work with 4.2.39, their developers somehow must have access to Google Play services library 15.

Anyone has a history of Google Play Services?

I tried searching for a comprehensive history of Google Play Services, but couldn’t find one which is kind of strange for such an important part of the Android platform (please comment if you have a comprehensive history).

Here are a few searches for the most recent versions with some of the important changes and the Android Police links:

Most Android devices will support casting to Chromecast

I did find out that Google Play Services version 4.2.39 works back to Anrdoid 2.3, so a lot of devices will be able to use the new casting functionality: most devices since Android 2.3 Gingerbread got introduced in 2010 will be able to cast to Chromecast.


Right now it it impossible for the vast majority of developers to develop Android applications targeting Chromecast. But iOS and Chrome are covered as senders. And there is a lot of potential on the Android side.


One Response to “Android: manually install Google Play Services 4.2.39 so AllCast and others can stream to Chromecast”

  1. […] as it requires the Google Play Services library version 15, which will become available when the Google Play Services version 4.2.39 has been rolled out to enough Android […]

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