It’s the day after breakfast with Sundar, Nexus 7 an Android made their first appearance. But, there was something else, a small 2″ dongle that possibly, stole the show. You heard the saying, “save the best for last”? Let’s take a look and see if this “cast”ing call, indeed introduced, a new star in the Google lineup.
At first glance, I thought, Google has gone and created their own Android powered dongle to trump the many that have flooded the market of recent, along with a Google TV (GTV) send off. Not the case, as the features made way to the senses, you quickly saw that Google is bringing something more than just another living room device, much more. Simply plug the dongle into any HDMI capable media and you’ve got streaming goodness at your fingertips as long as you’re on the same WI-FI network.
Chromecast works on both Android and IOS, transferring audio and video from Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and Google Play Music for starters. Along with the typical handheld devices, Mac and the Chromebook Pixel get to play as well. While similar to Apple’s Airplay, the one difference that immediately jumps out of the bush is, you can’t use Apple’s Airplay on Android devices, devoid 3rd party assists, Chromecast as mentioned above supports both OS’s. Google has wasted zero time, already releasing an early version Software Developer Kit (SDK) to developers so they can get busy coding for their applicable goods to work with Chromecast. As of this writing, The Washington Post plans to offer it’s streaming news service, PostTV.
Chromecast sells for a mere $35, and I say mere because it’s gearing up for battle with existing set top offerings like Roku etc that sell for at least double the Chromecast, “look out now”. Wow! Can you see the potential for services coming to an HDTV near you? Just think, now you can clean up that entertainment center, remove all those content providing boxes and bundle of cables that when you’ve got company over, they pretend not to see.
Yes, I’ve got my order in, about an hour post the event, got a tad nervous when at first try via Google Playstore, got the “item not available” alert. However you want to term this; pinch hitter, secret weapon and/or surprise attack. After watching the full event, Chromecast was indeed, the highlight of the show. Maybe it was just too much hype and expectation for the Nexus 7 and 4.3 that by the time the event played out, we were over it.
Some little niceties to mention; turns your computer and mobile device into a remote, turns on the TV (off?), controls volume, use other apps without interrupting the stream (so I can make a call while streaming and play Words With Friends (WWF), hot diggity!!), play the same media on another device on the same network and even continue streaming while your device takes a nap.
According to the Google Play and my receipt, ship date is 7th of August….
Google has played it’s hand, now it’s your play. Are you going to hold or take?
Update: Engadget is reporting that Google has dropped the “Free” 3 month Netflix promo due to overwhelming demand. Really!! These two BIG companies couldn’t get together and keep it going?
Max. Output Video Resolution
72(L) x 35(W) x 12(H) mm
2.4 GHz WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
(Power adapter included)
Supported Operating Systems
Android 2.3 and higher
iOS® 6 and higher
Windows® 7 and higher
Mac OS® 10.7 and higher
Chrome OS (Chromebook Pixel, additional Chromebooks coming soon).