Google Chromecast is an example of the first software device. Almost all of its capabilities are defined by software, and often not even by the software on the Chromecast itself.
However, all simple Chromecasts have one hardware button: an emergency reset button on the back. This confirms the importance and reliability of physical data compared to software solutions.
Chances are, most people will never use the reset button on their Chromecast. Whether you have an original Chromecast, a second-generation model, or a 4K Chromecast Ultra, this button has only one function: if all else fails, you can keep it pressed to reset the hardware to the “fresh out of the box” settings at the factory. .
(The process is really fun: pressing a button forces Chromecast to boot into USB boot mode, where a local copy of the signed system image is searched for and uploaded. Business users have tried to use this mechanism to load their Chromecast software!)
This is not an easy click to click: Google warns you by clicking on the bold emails on your support page: “This action will clear your data and cannot be undone.” This is just the thing you will use if you sell your hardware or have such serious problems that the only solution is a clean slate. Even activating it requires more attention than a simple restart, asking users to hold the small oval button on their back long enough to make sure you really want to do it.
The reset button on your Chromecast isn’t fascinated by the mechanism of the button itself or the physical hardware (it’s not a very exciting button). Sometimes it’s even a button.
Google Chromecast is one of the simplest plug and play devices. Pull it out of the box, connect it to the power supply and HDMI port, and you’re good to go. There is neither a remote nor even a power button here. Just plug it in and it works without any user intervention. Then you need another device to control everything about your Chromecast, from setup to streaming.
Except for this one feature: because even for such a simple device that is so much dependent on software, there are software vulnerabilities. You may not be able to force your Chromecast to connect to Wi-Fi, or your phone may not recognize the connection. Hardware is the last resort. If the physical button does not break or the entire device does not boot at all, there is a way to return to normal, which cannot be affected by a software problem.
For this reason, even a digital device like a Chromecast still has a button to press – just in case.