Chromecast has been gaining popularity around the world and even in India since the last year or so, to the point where it makes good sense to have one in every Indian household. So among all the big Nexus phones being launched, Google also did a prominent segment on their HDMI miracle stick. Here’s what you need to know…
Chromecast gets Smarter
Google’s adding more functionality to Chromecast with even more app tie-ups (most of them US content providers, not available in India). The Google Photos app will now seamlessly work with Chromecast, allowing you to showcase pictures from your mobile to the biggest screen in your house.
A lot of initiative is being taken to power a second screen experience, where instead of just mirroring what’s on your mobile screen to your TV, you can use the mobile to add additional functionality. This is especially useful in mobile gaming, which was showcased using Angry Birds Racing on the TV, being controlled by a mobile’s accelerometer. Fun fact: the mobile being used for this demo was an iPhone.
There’s a new Chromecast
We knew this was coming, and Google finally lifted the veil off their new generation Chromecast. No longer an “HDMI stick”, the new Chromecast comes in a circular form-factor, with an integrated HDMI cable, making it easier to reach into those tight HDMI slots. It’s a lot cuter looking, and comes in three colour options – Black, Lemonade and Coral.
But it’s not just the look that’s changed. The new Chromecast comes with three antennas that adapt to changing Wi-Fi conditions in the house. The enhanced network capabilities are in conjunction with a faster processor, which result in faster and higher quality streaming with lesser buffering.
The new Chromecast will still sell for $35 in the US – the exact same price as the previous generation. Will it come to India at the same Rs 2,999 MRP? We’ll have to wait and see.
And then there’s Chromecast Audio
Why go for an audio-only Chromecast when the fully-functional one is so cheap, right? Because Chromecast Audio can connect to any speaker system in your house using the standard 3.5mm aux cable. Yes, it supports RCA and optical out as well.
It still functions like the regular Chromecast – connects to the Wi-Fi in your house and is controlled by your phone. But it only outputs audio. It’s perfect for multiple scenarios. Besides playing music off your device or other streaming services like Soundcloud, you even have the option to play music off YouTube, without bothering to have a screen on.
It’s priced at $35, the same as the standard Chromecast.
Both new Chromecast devices are on sale today in the US and 16 other countries.