Google unveiled a $35 streaming video device, the size of a flash drive today that plugs into the television and lets users have access to smart TV functionality and use their smartphone, tablet or PC as a remote control.
Stop us if this device sounds familiar.
This makes the Chromecast the first device similar to an Android mini-PC stick that is being produced by a major US corporation. Many companies have been looking to jump on the smart TV market. Microsoft showed off the entertainment features in the Xbox One at E3. Apple is busy working on updates to its Apple TV product which links iTunes and iCloud services.
What makes the Google Chromecast different is that it will integrate with multiple operating systems – anything from Android and Windows to iOS. Google will also be working with several news vendors to broadcast videos and certain live broadcasts natively. YouTube and Netflix apps will be available at t launch. Support for more services, including Pandora, is coming soon. Of course, users will be able to surf the web using Google Chrome.
Unlike Apple’s Airplay feature which streams video from an iPhone or iPad, Google’s Chromecast will have its own dedicated internet connection in order to serve video and web content. The Chromecast will also be able to switch control and video between several devices. As Rishi Chandra, a director of product management at Google said, the beauty of Google’s philosophy is that “you’re not tied to any specific device.”
Chromecast will be available at Amazon.com and Best Buy.com for $35