Demand for Google’s $35 HDMI dongle was certainly underestimated, the company itself said that. Launched earlier this year, Chromecast lets users stream content from their mobile devices or PCs to the TV. The dongle is plugged into a HDMI port and powered through an external source, it connects to the Wi-Fi network and is then ready to display content that is streamed through it on the TV. Yesterday we reported that the dongle had received ten new content partners, out of ten content partners added yesterday VEVO stands out, its endless library of music videos is likely to put a smile on many Chromecast users’ faces. That’s not the only Chromecast update that has recently been rolled out. A firmware update build 14651 has also been released which brings a number of bug fixes and improvements.
The update also brings support for new Chromecast V2 API. It comes with new refreshed home screen with various new images that are displayed when Chromecast is all prepped up to work its magic. In the code of the update, independent developers have discovered initial support for a screen sharing protocol. It is likely that references to Android screen sharing exist in the update, recently it was rumored that Google might add Android screen mirroring feature to its HDMI dongle.
In recent times Japan has seen a substantial shift from feature phones to smartphones powered by iOS, Android and other platforms. This obviously meant that users got access to a wide variety of applications that are available on each and every platform. The smartphone trend has caught on quite quickly in The Land of the Rising Sun, with Apple clearly dominating the local market. That said, app analytics firm App Annie has released a new report saying that Japan has overtook the U.S. based on sheer app revenue, spending 10 percent more than the U.S.
This is a significant improvement, considering the fact that just last year, Japan was spending 40 percent less on mobile apps as compared to the U.S. Two reasons are believed to be behind this increase, first the fact that smartphone adoption in the country has jumped from 28 percent to 42 percent in just one year and the second being interest in mobile games. GungHo Online and Sega, who are both game publishers, are said to be the biggest drivers of app sales in Japan. Moreover, given Android’s footprint in the country, Play Store sales were able to match App Store sales in the country. App Annie expects that smartphone sales in Japan will grow in the coming year as well, possibly reaching beyond 60 percent penetration in the entire cellphone market.