Google has unveiled its brand new Chromecast. In fact, it has unveiled two new Chromecasts. One is for speakers, and one for the TV. As well as the dongle-like piece of (small) hardware, they have also revealed a new App designed to work in conjunction with it, which will gather all of your streaming apps together into one big place, and will have you watching on demand within mere seconds. No remote problems, no annoying clicking sound. Just sitting back, watching, and enjoying. And the cost? Just $35.
With the Chromecast, Google has targeted Apple TV, which to be honest still flatters to deceive. Probably one of the least appealing pieces of hardware Apple has released, although certainly one of the cheapest, Apple TV has only sold around 25 million units in the eight years since it was introduced by Steve Jobs amid great fanfare back in 2007. The Google Chromecast was initially introduced 18 months ago, amid no fanfare, and has already sold over 20 million units, and that was before the introduction of mark II.
What Chromecast really has going for it, is its simplification of the process of watching your new favourite series. No ugly set top box, no remote and no downloading apps and having to remember log in details etc…
Simply plug in and go. This is the dream ticket for the 2015 couch potato.
The new Chromecast app is the really big improvement for the brand here. The app automatically detects whether you have Netflix or any of eth other steaming services on your device, and simply places them all in one place, allowing you to peruse content all in one from as many of the streaming services as you have. Finding something to watch has never been easier. No buffering is also a nice feature of Chromecast, and it makes for an experience that you could quite easily call seamless. Not a word you could necessarily attribute to Apple TV.
The original Chromecast looked like a dongle or USB stick, but not any longer. It is now a puck that hangs from the back of your TV or speakers. The design kind of replicates the Google Chrome logo, and it’s actually just very much understated, yet also quintessentially Google.
What the Chromecast looks likely to be in the not-too-distant future is the key to the smart home. We’re talking thermostat control, lights on/lights off, alarm setting and front door locking all being controlled by the smartphone through the ‘Puck’. Can Apple compete with this? Time will tell if they want to. But with the Chromecast, Google has subtly introduced the future of interactive home control. We just don’t know it yet.