Yesterday Google announced their new 2nd generation Nexus 7, but they also focused on their Chromecast device, which streams media from Android and iOS phones and tablets. It also supports Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows computers.
Chromecast may seem similar to Apple’s Airplay, however the Google offering isn’t tied into a set top box like Apple TV. The device is a small dongle which hooks into a TV HDMI port. You can then queue video files, MP3 files or even Web pages to the TV. The mobile device then tells the ChromeCast device to display it and the signal is sent into the HDMI port, onto the screen. Chromecast works direct from the Cloud.
Google have mentioned streaming support from Netflix, YouTube, Google Play and Chrome, with Pandora support coming soon. It can’t mirror the device display like AirPlay and it can’t transmit local media files. Chrome web content does mirror on both device and tv however.
ChromeCast is obviously tied into Google related products right now, although with Netflix support there is a good indication that Google will widen the appeal to other clients. The price is set at $35 USD and Google are adding in three free months of Netflix worth much of the asking price.
Chromecast can support up to 1080p resolutions and is compatible with Android 2.3 and higher, iOS 6, Windows 7 and Windows 8 and Mac OS X 10.7 and higher. You can preorder it here in America, although a UK IP will show a ‘ChromeCast is not available in your country’. Not yet anyway.
Kitguru says: A cool, low cost gadget which should prove useful for many people. Hard to knock the price point.