Thanks to the hacker community, Google’s new media streamer, the Nexus Q, isn’t just an expensive Tron bowling ball with limited functionality.
In a developer forum, hacker kornyone revealed today that he was able to unlock the Nexus Q, install an Android app library launcher tool, and control the device with an external keyboard and mouse. Basically, anyone who uses this method will be able to access services like Netflix on their television sets, much in the same way a set-top box does. Kornyone specifically noted that he was able to stream 1080p-quality video to his TV using Netflix.
Directly out of the packaging, the Nexus Q seems like a rather limited device for the $299 price, as both VentureBeat’s Jolie O’Dell and I stated when Google debuted the product a few weeks ago. You can only use it in conjunction with mobile devices running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), and it only streams music, movies, and YouTube videos stored or accessed on your phone or tablet. The Nexus Q’s media sharing features are nice, but they pale in comparison to Google TV set-top boxes that have access to third-party applications. In short, it’s a huge disappointment.
However, the company did state at the Google I/O developer’s conference that it’s very interested to see how developers use the Nexus Q’s USB port to hack the device. Barely a day after the Nexus Q launched, a developer managed to hack the device to run (but not play) video games like Angry Birds, as VentureBeat previously reported. It’s nice to see Google taking this prohacking stance, especially when competitors like Apple unofficially frown on the practice.
For anyone that wishes to hack their Nexus Q, Kornyone has kindly produced a step-by-step how-to video, which we’ve embedded below.
Via The Verge