Google unveiled a new product called Chromecast at today`s press event. It is a USB device that connects to your TV, with a simplified version of Google Chrome OS. It`s controlled with your tablet or smartphone.
Chromecast is easy to connect your devices to. Similar to Airplay, you will see an additional button on your phone or tablet which will allow you to connect it to the Chromecast device.
As well, you can add videos to a “TV Queue”. Basically, it’s similar to making a playlist.
There is multitaksing support. For example, you can watch a YouTube video streaming with Chromecast, and you can view your email on your Android device. You can still even view your video on your TV while your device is in sleep mode.
It is supported on a limited number of apps it seems at the moment, including YouTube, Netflix, Google Play Movies/TV/Music, and Pandora. Controls are built into the app you use, and can be synced across different devices. For example, if you want to skip ahead, the video scrubber will sync between the different devices controlling the video at the moment.
Google also announced a beta feature. From your computer, the device will be able to view a Chrome tab. So it’s basically video mirroring. Google showed how it can be used for video slideshows, as well as viewing Vimeo videos. There does seem to be some lag, but this is again in beta mode.
Chromecast is supported on Android devices, as well as iOS devices. It can even be controlled using your laptop, directly from the YouTube website.
An API is going to be released to developers shortly.
The Chromecast is priced at an affordable $35. The device will be available to purchase today in the USA. It will be available July 28th at Best Buy USA. No word yet on when it will be available here in Canada.