I have a post I’ve been working on for the past two days which should be ready for tomorrow, it’s rather lengthy and I want to make sure it’s as perfect or as close to perfect as I can make it before posting it. (Also, I was really busy at work yesterday, thus the reason for you all only receiving the friendly notice about Best Buy and the Moto G.)
That said, consider this a short substitute to make up for it.
Well, I made a few edits/updates to that post noting a few things I discovered about that phone and now I’d like to take the time to share one more discovery.
The phone has a locked bootloader and sadly due to coming with Android KitKat 4.4.4 out of the box (on the one I got at least) that means there is no way to downgrade the software on it or root it. Basically, the reason I had for buying it (wanting to tinker with it and try out some custom ROMs and what have you) was rendered moot. Nothing I or anyone over on XDA can do about it.
But, and here is where I get to the point of this post, the beauty of Android, even on a locked down device such as this one, is that the sky still mostly remains the limit insofar as what you can do with even a $20 off the shelf device like this.
Seeing as I have a Moto X (2nd Gen.) and am with T-Mobile for cell service, there was nothing for me to do with those phone, which I planned on using exclusively on WiFi around the house, besides listening to music and podcasts and using it as a cheap Android media player.
At least that was the case as of yesterday. Today a new use has been found for the device and I’ll share what pictures and info I can, as limited as some of it is given I left the phone at home and am currently at work.
I am turning it into a glorified single purpose device: a Chromecast remote!
This is a screenshot of what my eventual setup will roughly look like once I get home and set it up as such later today.
Except in lieu of most of those apps I’ll have the following ones on the homescreen.
What you see there is the Comedy Central, Encore, Fox, FX, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz apps. All of which have Chromecast support baked in.
And though it should be a given I’ll just state it flat out: Google Play Movies & TV, YouTube, Google Play Music and PocketCast all have Chromecast support as well.
I’ve managed to turn a phone I got for free and technically had limited use for thanks to it being locked down into a glorified and relatively fancy remote for another device, well multiple devices as I have several Chromecasts in the house, which I use in the house on WiFi to send stuff to various TVs to watch or listen to.
This will also be great for when we have my younger relatives over. I can just turn on the TV, switch over to the HDMI connection that the Chromecast is on and then hand them my phone (since it’ll be reasonably locked down and only apps I give access to will be accessible), and hand them the phone/remote to watch whatever they’d like.
Also, the idea for a dedicated Chromecast remote isn’t limited to a throwaway phone on the cheap like this. You can do the same thing with a tablet you may already have or just any old phone you’ve got lying around. Assuming they run Android that is. Just sign into your Google account, don’t sync anything but apps (and then only install the ones you want, like the examples shown further above), and that’s it. You’ve got a device that’s dedicated almost exclusively to whatever Chromecast you may have in the house.