Just as exciting as Android 4.3 and the new Nexus 7 tablet, is Google's latest device, the Chromecast. A tiny HDMI dongle the size of a thumb drive delivering endless YouTube, Netflix, Google Music, Pandora, and web content to your HDTV for streaming anything and everything. Easily stream content to your big screen for only $35. We have some hands-on so take a peek after the break.
As you can already tell from the images, the Chromecast is a 3-inch dongle the size of most USB thumb drives. It has micro-USB on one end (for power, FYI) and the other is a full-size HDMI plug to stream 1080p video right to your TV and home theater. You'll need micro-USB to power it, which wasn't mentioned. Overall it's small, and extremely portable, but we're worried the bubble on the end will waste two HDMI ports, which could be an issue for some.
The size aside, which hopefully isn't an issue, this thing has some serious potential. Plug in the micro-USB for power and start throwing HD video, Netflix movies (Arrested Development) and anything you'd like right to the television for the entire family to enjoy. Using a Wifi 2.4 GHz band (no 5 GHz) to talk to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, the Chromecast will let you instantly stream things to the big screen.
Chromecast has some serious potential, and we're looking for more details (such as mirroring) but for now it only works with a select set of apps. Those being YouTube, Netflix, Pandora Radio, Google Play Music, TV, and Movies, and of course full browsing using Chrome. The idea is dead simple too. If you're familiar with controlling any of those on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, it will be a breeze on the Chromecast because you use the device for controls. I can't wait to use my Galaxy S4 to stream HD video to my TV, then the Infrared port for a remote control. Our Android phones can truly control the entire experience now.
One important aspect is the Chromecast works on all devices, and is built to scale perfectly too. You can go from streaming a video from your Nexus 7, to swapping it out and "casting" a tab from Google Chrome on your iPhone 5 in seconds. It does it quick, accurately, and scales perfect. Oh and it works in sleep mode so you don't waste screen time and battery life. So that's a plus. It sounds too good to be true, but it's indeed real, and we have one!
Small reminder, once the SDK drops and developers get a hold of this, expect the options and things we can do with it to skyrocket. For $35 this is a steal. Check out the pictures below, expect a video shortly, and head to the Google Play Store and buy this amazing little addition right now for only $35.