In the earlier part of Wednesday, Google announced a new HDMI media streamer called the Chromecast. It takes the form factor of a small dongle. This stick will plug into the HDMI port of almost any HDTV available in your home. Of course, you will connect it to your Wi-Fi network at home to connect it to the internet and control it from your smartphone or tablet. Additionally, the Chromecast will also feature a technology similar to Apple’s AirPlay. Essentially, compatible apps will have a “cast” button. This will allow you to wirelessly beam content from their Android phone or tablet to their TV. Of course, one of the apps that will work nicely with the stick is Netflix.
Of course, there will be an SDK for developers to develop apps for this media streaming stick.
So what about pricing and availability? Well the Chromecast stick will set you back $35(approximately £23) if your are in the USA. Unfortunately, there is no release date for the UK but Google said that they are working to get it to the UK as soon as they can. However buyers of the Chromecast will also get three months of free Netflix
First of all, it is clear Google are making an attack at Apple’s Apple TV media streaming box(and other media streaming solutions available). First of all, the Chromecast will support apps of all kinds and I am really excited to see what apps the developers can come up with. Apple’s offering(the Apple TV) on the other hand does not have any app support. Now it’s true that you can use AirPlay to mirror an iPad’s screen on the TV or beam video content from the iPad or iPhone to the TV. However, there are no apps and I am really sorry but Apple have dropped the ball in this regard. Additionally the price of only $35 or £25 makes this device a really affordable alternative to the Apple TV(priced at £99 or $99. Of course, you have other devices out there such as the Roku boxes or the WD TV Live box. However, the fact that this comes with 3 months of free NetFlix streaming makes it a really good offering.