Participants in the beta program of Videolabs' popular VLC media player for Android are getting a substantial update as of yesterday. The update brings the software to the version 2.9.0 and includes several new ways to enjoy media, as well as a couple of new optimizations. Most importantly, it includes support for new playback methods on at least three different platforms.
The biggest change to VLC for Android is that it will now support Chromecast playback of any media played through the app. That means, of course, that simply connecting to a network which also hosts a Chromecast device will allow users to click the appropriate icon in the app itself and watch their favorite content on their television or cast-enabled speakers. It's a function that users have been asking for since VLC's first appearance on Android so it's likely to garner quite a bit of positive feedback once it hits the main version of the application. Taking things further still, Videolabs has also added support for Samsung's DeX dock and improved support for Chromebooks that allow Android apps. The optimizations of Chrome OS playback are probably the more impactful of those two additions since Google's operating system still doesn't have a dedicated media player of its own. Meanwhile, the addition of DeX support will provide at least a small boost to Samsung's already productivity-focused flagship devices.
Equally important, though perhaps less noteworthy, the update also includes optimizations for Android 8.0 (Oreo) devices, better overall stability, and some unspecified bug fixes. Of course, it goes without saying that because this is a beta version of the application there are likely to be at least a couple of new bugs as well. Users will need to be signed up for the beta program to gain immediate access to the features. For anybody feeling adventurous enough to risk encountering some bugs, that's easy enough to accomplish on the app's Google Play Store page. The appearance of the new features in the beta build of the app also means that the functionalities should hit the consumer-ready version of the app sooner rather than later. In the meantime, as with all app rollouts, users shouldn't be concerned if this update to VLC hasn't hit their devices yet as it probably will in the coming days.