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The latest Chromecast with Google TV update introduced some much-needed bug fixes. Unfortunately, it also removed the ability to use third-party screensaver apps. Screensaver Preferences no longer acknowledges third-party options and only lets you use Google’s screensavers.
Customers noticed this change shortly after the update (version QTS1.220504.008) rolled out in July. Affected users warn not to touch your screensaver preferences, otherwise you may lose whatever third-party screensaver app you’re currently using. (That said, some users report that their screensaver automatically switched to Google’s “ambient mode.”)
This change could be related to Google’s new “proactive” screensaver, which gives you updates on the weather, sports scores, and more when your TV is idling. While many users would prefer something a bit more modest, the “proactive” screensaver is a stand-out Chromecast feature and could keep users’ attention directed toward their TV.
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Still, some users speculate that Google removed third-party screensavers to push its “ambient mode,” which now contains ads. But regardless of Google’s reasoning, pulling a popular feature from Chromecast with Google TV seems shortsighted. People enjoy customization, and third-party screensavers made for an easy and non-intrusive way to personalize the Chromecast.
For what it’s worth, Google may have unintentionally blocked third-party screensaver apps on Chromecast. But I doubt that this is the case. (Note that if you’re mad about “ambient mode” ads, you can turn them off in Settings.)