Now YouTube won’t allow users to tune in on some Chromecasts

Google has apparently outdone itself when it comes to shutting down products and experiences in a short period of time – like 9to5Google reports, after rolling out a new interface for some older Chromecasts last winter, the company has pretty much made it useless. In a response to a customer on Twitterthe company says you’re no longer able to log into your YouTube account on older versions of the streaming puck, allowing you to just stream from your phone (especially if you’re paying to see an ad-free YouTube) .

While picking up videos from your phone and sending them to your TV via the Chromecast was originally how the device was supposed to work, Google has recently added to that experience. Last year, users got the option to use their phone as a remote to scroll through a YouTube UI on the Chromecast, allowing them to use their big screen to select videos.

While you can technically still browse YouTube using your phone as a remote, you’ll have to do so as a logged-out guest – no personalized recommendations, playlists, or viewing history from the rest of your devices directly on the Chromecast. For YouTube Premium subscribers, it’s even worse; currently, if they use the YouTube interface on the Chromecast, it will include the ads they pay to not see on the rest of their devices.

Although this is mostly a minor inconvenience (again, you box always use your phone to queue videos, which will play ad-free if you’re a premium subscriber), what’s weird is how google communicated pulling a lot of a feature relatively new. Here’s Google in December 2021, tweeting to show how you can get YouTube’s UI straight to the Chromecast:

And here it is in June 2022, announcing to most users that connecting to YouTube is no longer supported on “old Chromecast devices”:

Talk about whiplash – there are dozens of replies to YouTube asking why it removed the feature and why it didn’t announce it was, leaving users frustrated with an unexplained “Impossible to log in”. We contacted Google to ask why it made the change and to get an exact list of affected Chromecast devices, but so far we have not received a response.

There’s another twist that makes it all even weirder. In a forum reply spotted by android font, a Google community manager says the company is working to fix an issue where Premium members are seeing ads when using the remote to control YouTube on their Chromecasts. It’s hard to imagine a software solution to this problem that wouldn’t allow for, you know, the exact same login experience that people had access to just a few weeks ago before it was removed.

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