Announced July 24th 2013, the Google Chromecast is a tiny streaming device that lets you push content from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop straight to your TV. After Google TV failed to take off, Chromecast is the company's second attempt to put a browser on your biggest screen, and represents a major effort to compete with Apple's AirPlay. At $35, it's far more of an impulse buy than other offerings, but, in typical Google fashion, there are elements of Chromecast that are very much in beta. Official app support was limited at launch to Netflix and YouTube, with additional services available through a beta feature that lets you mirror a Chrome tab to your TV.In the days following its launch, major content providers like HBO and Hulu indicated they're working on a Chromecast strategy, developers began to discover what the device is truly capable of, and Google Play expansions hinted that a broader, international launch is imminent. You can follow all the latest news and developments right here.
Apr 10, 2014Read Article >
Aereo will add Chromecast support to its Android app next month, on May 29th, giving subscribers an easy way to beam television streams over to an actual TV. Aereo, which allows subscribers to stream broadcast TV over the internet, launched on Android last October, but its subscribers have largely had to rely on its website in order to start watching. In addition to a Roku app, support for the Chromecast is one of the first direct routes that Aereo has given its subscribers to play back shows on a TV. Aereo isn't building Chromecast support directly into its website though, so unfortunately, you'll have to use an Android phone to get started, and not just any old web browser.
Mar 24, 2014
Google has launched a playful new app for Chromecast that lets a group of people create and draw on a collage of photos displayed on a TV. The app is called Photowall, and though it requires an iOS device to get started right now, anyone with a smartphone or a tablet can join in once it's going. Once an iOS user launches Photowall, others will be able to visit a specific URL in Chrome to start adding their own photos to the collage and doodling on them. That app will record everything that happens too, and once everyone's done, it'll turn the entire stream into a YouTube video.Read Article >
Update: It seems that Photowall will only be iOS-only for a matter of hours. Google says that an Android version of the app will be arriving later today, though it's yet to appear in the Play Store as of shortly after 1PM ET. You'll also be able to start a collage through a Chrome extension.
Mar 19, 2014
Google's Chromecast streaming stick has been out for the better part of eight months, but only in the US. The company is changing that today by selling it in 11 additional countries, including Canada, the UK, and much of Europe. Google says it's got localized local video apps ready for some of those places, like offering a BBC iPlayer app in the UK, France TV Pluzz and SFR TV in France, and Watchever for Chromecast users in Germany. Additional apps will also be on the way through the Google Cast SDK, which became available to developers last month.Read Article >
Feb 4, 2014
When Google's $35 Chromecast HDMI dongle offered a simple, affordable way to sync streaming content like Netflix and Youtube between a smartphone and a television, developer Koushik Dutta saw a chance. He created AllCast, an app that could augment those streaming services with media that users already owned, beaming pictures, audio and video files to the Chromecast. Just days after release, Google blocked that app, forcing Dutta to focus on DLNA-capable devices instead. Today, however, AllCast and Chromecast are back together again.Read Article >
In a Google+ post, Dutta writes that one of Google's own Chromecast developers actually just reached out to inform him that the Chromecast would support his app once more, adding the missing Android media router framework he needed in the brand new Chromecast SDK. He says it took him "maybe 20 minutes" to get the app playing nice with Chromecast again. The app is a free download in the Google Play store if you want to give it a spin, though Dutta says that support for Chromecast "is very much in beta," and you'll need to download the latest Google Play Services package as well.
Feb 3, 2014Read Article >
Google's Chromecast is now an open platform. The company has launched an official Google Cast SDK for any app-makers interested in supporting the $35 HDMI dongle. "That means even more of our favorite movies, TV shows, and music will become available on Chromecast as developers work with the SDK," the company said in a blog post. Since launching Chromecast last year, Google has gradually brought on new partners like HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Plex, and others. But now the doors have opened up to everyone, meaning the potential of Google's video-streaming stick could skyrocket in the months and weeks to come. Chromecast owners won't need to do anything to enjoy the expanded support; the device has already been updated to take advantage of the Google Cast SDK.
Jan 9, 2014
Is Motorola having trouble selling the Moto X? It certainly seems like a possibility. Only one week after a permanent price drop to $399, the company is now throwing a Google Chromecast in for free. The offer is only valid on the $399 16GB and $449 32GB off-contract models, and it's only good until January 14th, but it's the fourth time in the last few months that Motorola has tried to spur demand with a deal.Read Article >
Jan 6, 2014
In a move apparently inspired by the Google Chromecast, Netgear has announced the launch of its NeoMediacast HDMI dongle, a USB drive-sized device made to plug into your TV's HDMI port and stream content. The NeoMediacast runs on Android 4.2, has 802.11ac connectivity, and is Miracast-enabled, allowing the user to stream movies and TV shows from their smartphone in much the same way as the Google competition (at 1080p naturally). Netgear hopes that providers develop "curated content stores" where users can download apps to access free and premium content. It's unclear, however, if Google Play will be integrated.Read Article >
Perhaps most notably, the NeoMediacast has Netgear striking out on its own in direct opposition to Google. Only last year, its NeoTV Prime worked with Google TV, a move Netgear may be smarting from. While the company's previous forays into the set-top box space have been less than auspicious, it's clear that the company is not done with trying to make current TVs smarter.
Dec 23, 2013
Developer Koushik Dutta first released his app AllCast shortly after the launch of Google's Chromecast. Back then, it allowed Android users to display content from their phone's gallery, Dropbox account, and Google Drive on a TV screen with the help of Google's HDMI dongle. But it was a short lived experiment; in late summer, Google delivered a Chromecast update that broke AllCast. The company voiced support for local playback apps, but said that the Chromecast SDK is currently limited to select partners — at least during the developer preview stage — "to provide a great experience for users." Undeterred, Dutta kept working on AllCast, and today it has launched in the Google Play Store. Just don't expect Chromecast support, as it's still not there.Read Article >
Instead, AllCast has returned with a focus on open DLNA devices, or "almost anything you hook up to your TV" as Dutta says. That includes Roku boxes, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One, smart TVs from Samsung and Panasonic, Google TV hardware, and more. And like before, it's fairly simple; just tap on a photo or video stored on your device to have it play back on your TV screen. A scrubber bar appears at the bottom when videos are playing, and quick controls can be accessed through Android's pulldown notification screen. The basic version is free, but a $4.99 premium version removes a restriction on video length, all advertising, and splash screens. Dutta still notes that his app will be compatible with Chromecast "someday."
Dec 12, 2013
Google has been adding more and more ways to play content on a Chromecast, and today it's giving the media streamer a new trick: the ability to stream Google Play music and videos straight from the web. Now when you visit play.google.com and begin playing something you own, the site will display a Chromecast button that'll let you directly send that media over to a TV, without streaming the entire tab.Read Article >
This isn't the very first time that a website has added in Chromecast support, but for the most part, users have still had to go through smartphone or tablet apps in order to stream media directly. A select few popular websites do include support though, including Netflix and YouTube. With today's update, a lot more content will be just easy to start streaming — at least for those who buy movies and music through the Play store.
Dec 10, 2013
With most of the major streaming video services now accounted for, Google needs to look elsewhere to expand its family of Chromecast-compatible apps. Today the company took a big step in that effort, announcing Chromecast support for 10 third-party apps including Vevo and Songza. Google is also paying some attention to advanced users; Plex, an app that's hugely popular among home-theater enthusiasts, has also gained Chromecast support.Read Article >
"I’m happy to tell you that over the last few months, we’ve been working closely with Google to bring Plex to the Chromecast," said founder Elan Feingold. "It’s an honor for us to be among the first handful of apps on the device, and it’s been great working with Google – we’ve never met a smarter or more energetic group of people to work with." Plex supports video on day one, and the app will be able to cast photos and music "very shortly." "Note that for an initial period, the Chromecast feature is only available to our beloved PlexPass users, who get exclusive access to many new features," Feingold says.
Nov 29, 2013
It can't quite match three months of Netflix, but Google is rewarding Chromecast buyers with a new bonus for the holidays: $6 in Google Play credit. Starting now and running through December 7th, you'll get the Play credit when purchasing Chromecast from retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, and Google itself. Google says the promotion is good for a free HD movie rental, but you can use the bonus store credit for anything you'd like on Google Play. The offer is "valid for any movie rental or other content on Google Play valued at $6 or less," Google says, though you can't put it towards devices or subscriptions.Read Article >
With services including Netflix, Hulu Plus, and now HBO Go on board, Chromecast seems to be faring well with consumers. It's the best-selling electronics item on Amazon, where it can be purchased today for $29.99. That's $5 off the Chromecast's regular $35.99 price, and is likely the best deal you'll find for Google's miniature streamer.
Nov 21, 2013Read Article >
HBO Go can finally stream to the Chromecast. From both its iOS and Android app, HBO Go will now allow users to stream directly to Google's media player, filling in one of the Chromecast's biggest missing services. With today's addition, Chromecast can now stream from Pandora, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and YouTube, giving the device access to many of the most popular content providers around. It was a long wait — the app was reportedly in the works from the time that Google's streaming device was announced — but getting HBO on board has never been the quickest task for any media player.
Oct 31, 2013
Pandora is now available on Google's Chromecast dongle, giving one of the biggest names in streaming media another point of access to the living room. An update to Pandora's Android and iOS mobile apps will now include a "Cast" button, which will allow for one-touch streaming to the TV, the company said. "By integrating Google Cast technology into our mobile apps, users now have another easy access point to a better listening experience from the biggest screen in their living room," said Tom Conrad, Pandora's chief technical officer, in a statement.Read Article >
Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube already were available on Chromecast. With Pandora, the dongle adds one of the biggest missing names to its lineup of service providers. Pandora users can stream to Chromecast from Android smartphones and tablets as well as iPhones, but not yet iPads. The company says iPad support is coming soon.
Oct 21, 2013Read Article >
Just as it promised to do, Hulu has today enabled support for Google's Chromecast on iPhone. Users can begin streaming Hulu Plus content to their TVs by installing an update for the app that's available now. Hulu first rolled out Chromecast integration on Android and iPad, joining Netflix as the latest third party to support the miniature $35 streaming stick. According to the company, "Hulu Plus integration with Chromecast will convert your app into a custom remote letting you control video on your Chromecast connected TVs, while allowing you to browse the Hulu Plus app directly from your iPhone." The required update can be downloaded from the iOS App Store. With two major streaming services accounted for, Google is also reportedly working to enable HBO Go streaming for Chromecast.
Oct 2, 2013
The popular video-on-demand service Hulu Plus is now compatible with Chromecast. The service, which offers up programming from a number of major networks for a small monthly fee, pledged to officially support Chromecast back in July, but is only now making good on that promise. Hulu is rolling out the new feature through an update to its Hulu Plus apps for Android and iOS phones and tablets. The updated apps will have a "Cast" button for one-touch streaming to Chromecast.Read Article >
Google has, until now, supported Hulu Plus through its "tab casting" feature, which lets you stream the contents of any browser tab to your TV. However, the experience through tab casting isn't perfect, and the new feature should improve support significantly. Hulu Plus is one of the first premium video options to natively support Chromecast since the streaming stick launched with Netflix and Pandora support, but other popular video services like HBO are also said to be working on support. The new apps will be available today from both Apple's App Store and the Google Play store.
Sep 25, 2013
It may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but HDMI radically simplified our home entertainment. Once, connecting devices to a television required any number of different video and audio cables — including composite, component, VGA, DVI, and more.Read Article >
Now, HDMI has supplanted nearly all of them. It's ubiquitous, and it's simple to use. One cable transmits video and audio at the same time. People understand how it works.
Sep 13, 2013
Google's $35 Chromecast dongle garnered a lot of attention due to its low price and ease of use. It's hard to find a simpler, cheaper way to share YouTube and Netflix videos from a smartphone to a nearby television. But Roku, the set-top box manufacturer, doesn't plan to let Google go unchallenged. At the Next TV Summit in San Francisco, Roku CEO Anthony Wood announced that his company will add the same basic casting functionality to its own hardware by supporting the DIAL protocol.Read Article >
Aug 27, 2013Read Article >
Google has just released a Chromecast app for iOS, an app that's both incredibly basic but also pretty crucial. Essentially, the new app lets you set up and manage your Chromecast device, something you couldn't do from an iOS device before. Users had to use a standard computer or an Android device to get it functioning online, though you could still able to stream media from iOS to the Chromecast. It's essentially the same as the Chromecast Android app that Google released alongside the device back in August, but it was a bit surprising to not see an iOS version ready to go at the same time. On the other hand, the number of users with only an iOS device and no other computer who also purchased a Chromecast was probably pretty same. Regardless, the problem is solved — you can grab the Chromecast app from the iTunes Store now.
Aug 25, 2013
Google hasn't provided a clear answer on whether Chromecast will eventually let users stream their own local videos and music to the TV screen. But if early updates for the $35 dongle are any indication, the company doesn't want third-party developers trying to deliver that functionality. The most recent Chromecast update has broken support for AllCast, an Android application that previously allowed users to stream their personal media to a TV. AllCast (also known as AirCast thanks to a trademark dispute) could play back files stored in a phone's gallery, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Developer Koushik Dutta accomplished the feat by reverse engineering the Chromecast's code. He'd released several betas of the app, even planning a release on Google Play, before Google's latest software update broke things — "intentionally" in Dutta's opinion.Read Article >
"The policy seems to be a heavy handed approach, where only approved content will be played through the device," he says. "The Chromecast will probably not be indie developer friendly." Officially, Chromecast only supports media from the Google Play store, Netflix, and YouTube. The company has a staked interest in actively controlling the user experience (and what content can be streamed) if it hopes to round up new partners like HBO and Hulu Plus.
Aug 18, 2013
There are plenty of things you can stream to your Chromecast, but thanks to copyright worries, locally stored video isn't one of them. At least one developer is hoping to change that, though, with an app that streams video files from your device's Gallery, Dropbox, or Google Drive to your television using Google's $35 dongle.Read Article >
Developer Koushik Dutta posted to his Google+ page today with a link to an early beta of an application he's calling AirCast. After installing it, you select a locally stored video, tap "share," and stream the video to your Chromecast using AirCast. You can then control video playback using your mobile device.
Aug 1, 2013
Google has boosted the content available on its UK Play Store with the addition of TV show downloads. Bringing its store closer to feature parity with iTunes, Google now includes popular shows like Doctor Who, Homeland, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead in its listings, pricing episodes at £1.89 for standard downloads and £2.49 for high-definition shows. While full season pricing fluctuates between titles, Google matches Apple on many single episodes.Read Article >
Jul 31, 2013
The content providers are lining up to support Google's Chromecast. One day after HBO said it was "actively exploring" the streaming stick, Hulu has gone a step further and confirmed a solution is already in the works. “We are actively working with Google to bring Hulu Plus to the platform,” a company representative told Variety. No specific ETA has been given, but with Hulu Plus and (presumably) HBO Go set to join Netflix, Google has already locked down three services considered essential among many viewers.Read Article >
Even better, Hulu says it will be bringing Chromecast integration to Hulu Plus for iOS — much like competitor Netflix. That means both Android and iOS users alike will soon enjoy smoother playback and a better overall experience compared with what's currently possible via tab casting. And for the record, Hulu has no problem with customers using Google's browser trick before official support arrives. Variety says the company likens tab casting to plugging in a computer directly via HDMI. That's not quite how things work in reality, but it's good to know that content providers aren't taking issue with the concept.
Jul 30, 2013
It's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but HBO says it's at least "exploring" the possibility of streaming HBO Go to Google's Chromecast. "We are actively exploring supporting Chromecast as another way for our subscribers to enjoy HBO Go, but at this point we can’t comment on specific plans regarding timing," a spokesperson told Variety. The statement serves as yet more evidence that HBO could eventually join competitor Netflix as an official content partner for the new $35 streaming dongle.Read Article >
Mentions of HBO Go have been found in Chromecast's underlying software, hinting that Google is already be testing a potential app — or may have been ahead of the device's launch. You'll still need a proper HBO subscription to view programming if and when the company jumps on board with Google's young streaming technology, but native support would certainly beat the iffy frame rate and occasional lag that comes with tab casting.
Jul 30, 2013
Google released a $35 HDMI dongle called the Chromecast last week, and it's a great way to get video from your computer or mobile device to your TV screen — as long as that video's coming from YouTube, Netflix, Google Play, or a Chrome tab. Other apps will have to enable support for the device themselves, and some details are beginning to emerge on who might be among the first.Read Article >
Vimeo appears to be a sure thing. The company's VP of mobile, Nick Alt, told GigaOm that "we’re excited about the emerging opportunities bridging mobile to Connected TV and we look forward to offering Chromecast support in our products." GigaOm also reports that Verizon and Redbox plan to support the Chromecast with their Instant service, and notes that Plex developers are investigating the device.
Jul 29, 2013
It’s surprisingly difficult to put a web browser on TV. It’s difficult for regular people — the best option is often just plugging in a laptop — and it’s been ridiculously difficult for the tech industry in general. From interface problems to weird remotes to clunky performance, attempts to put the web on TV have all met with failure of one kind or another. Google in particular learned a hard lesson with its Google TV platform, which crashed and burned so spectacularly when it launched in 2010 that hardware partner Logitech nearly went out of business.Read Article >
But now Google’s back with the Chromecast, a far simpler way of getting the web on your TV. The Chromecast is a $35 HDMI dongle that basically competes with Apple’s AirPlay system: when you use supported services like YouTube and Netflix on your phone, tablet, or computer, hitting the new Cast button sends the video to your TV. You can also send entire tabs from the Chrome browser on Macs and PCs, which means you can basically put any site or service on TV with just the click of a button. That opens up an entire world of content for your TV — far more than any other service can offer on its own.