News by Andrew Kameka on Friday August 16, 2013.
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Bitcasa has wanted to find a way to make its cloud-storage service available on televisions but it has so far been limited to supporting AirPlay on iOS devices. The company will soon extend support to Android thanks to the inclusion of Chromecast for streaming video, music, and photos to a television. Bitcasa has confirmed to MobileBurn.com that it will soon release a version of its Android and iOS apps that support Chromecast.
Bitcasa offers unlimited cloud storage for $99 per year, and the service is designed to support streaming cloud-based content as well as backing-up the files. While Chromecast has so far been limited to streaming from Netflix, Google, and other online streaming services, Bitcasa will introduce a method for members to stream their entire media collections to the television using Android, iOS, or the web. I recently spoke with Bitcasa Product Manager Luke Behnke, who said:
"We've been looking to get into the TV market for a while now. We were deciding which platform to go to because there's so much fragmentation between Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, and Google TV. Chromecast seems to be a natural entrance for us given the kind of excitement it's been garnering already and just the price point for people to start using it."
The early wave of positive reviews and retailers selling out of their Chromecast stock convinced Bitcasa to adopt Google's streaming solution. The company plans to support both Android and iOS. On iOS devices, AirPlay will continue to be a streaming option. Behnke explains that Bitcasa hasn't finalized its iOS app yet, but the current plan is to detect whether a Chromecast or Apple TV is present and then have the UI display whichever button fits the user's streaming setup. In the event that someone has both, users would be able to choose.
The goal is to have Chromecast-enabled versions of Bitcasa for Android and the web at some point in September. Pinpointing the exact date is difficult because Bitcasa is also upgrading the video transcoding system used to stream video clips. The final product should be a boon to Chromecast and regular subscribers because it will improve speed, resolution, video format compatibility, and seekability.
The decision to position itself as a cloud streamer could potentially make Bitcasa appealing to Chromecast users and others in need of online storage. Behnke wrapped-up a conversation by saying:
"Our product was built with streaming from the cloud in mind..whether it be a movie or music, or just streaming your photos and documents to you from our servers. For us, I think supporting Chromecast helps prove [we are different]. Some of our competitors are very good at file storage but you don't necessarily go store all of your media, all of your music, and all of your videos with them. The cost might be prohibitive and they're not really associated with that. We're kind of hoping that Bitcasa will be associated with the place to store all of your media."
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.