Today Google held a press event to announce new products and developments for Android and Chrome. While the company announced the new and improved Nexus 7, which will be released later this month, and an Android upgrade to version 4.3, a small piece of hardware made for televisions stole the show. Chromecast is a new device you can use to stream content from dedicated apps and Chrome onto your television screen. And at $35 a pop, Chromecast is super affordable.
Google fanatics first spotted evidence of Chromecast last night, when the device’s name popped up on Google Play’s device list, and they speculated that it was a device that would allow you to mirror information from smaller devices onto TV screens or large monitors. Now we know from Google that Chromecast is a small device that requires little setup and nothing new to learn. Simply plug Chromecast into your TV’s HDMI port and connect the device to your home Wi-Fi, and you’ll be on your way to streaming paradise.
Once Chromecast is set up, a “cast button” will appear on enabled apps and on your Chrome browser. When watching YouTube on your smartphone, for example, press the cast button to stream a video on your television screen. Chromecast will turn your TV on, if needed, and begin playing the video. It’s important to note that Chromecast does not mirror information from your device, but rather streams data from the cloud, which gives you added capabilities. You control what plays on your TV through the device you have in your hand, including the pause/play functions and volume. You can even create shared TV queues when your friends connect their devices to your home network. Chromecast works with all devices on all platforms, even the iPhone. What’s more, unrelated functions on your device to not interfere with playback on your TV screen, meaning you can still take calls and browse the Web from your phone while using it to control Chromecast.
Google has taken care to make Chromecast as useful as possible right out of the box. Videos and music from YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, and Google Play Movies and Music will all interact smoothly with Chromecast. To stream other media onto your TV, such as photo slideshows or videos from Vimeo, simply open the media in your Chrome browser and send it to Chromecast.
Where to Buy Chromecast
Chromecast will be available in the US starting today from Amazon.com, Bestbuy.com, and the Google Play store. It will also be available in brick and mortar Best Buy stores starting July 28.
To sweeten the deal, those who purchase the Chromecast will receive three months of free video streaming from Netflix.
For more information on Chromecast, check out the device’s promo video below.
What do you think of Chromecast? Will it have a place in your home? Let us know in the comments section!