Google is attempting to make additional headway into the living room with the introduction of Chromecast, where this particular HDMI dongle that measures no more than 2″ in length, will be able to mirror content that is viewed nearby on a choice of devices – be they tablets, smartphones or computers. Underneath the hood, it basically runs on a simplified version of Chrome OS, and you do need a USB power solution.
Chromecast will be able to run apps that have a special “Cast” button. Pressing this particular button would enable one to send their video over to their big sreen TVs, where you can then use it to handle volume levels, playback and pause, from a remote place. For example, the moment you plug in Chromecast, you can head on to YouTube and load it on your smartphone, where selecting the “Cast” button in YouTube’s user interface will have Chromecast pull the relevant information from the cloud, playing it back on your TV.
As for the Google Cast SDK (Software Developer’s Kit), mastering it would allow you to build interactions between the TV and devices, and since it is built on current mobile and web apps, warming up to the SDK should not be too difficult. The Developer Preview will launch today, too.
Basically, you can have say, an iPhone, that launches Netflix, watching a movie on the TV via Chromecast, and if the iPhone owner has to leave the building, and you want to continue watching the movie which is being played, fret not. Pull out your Android device, go to Netflix, select the blue bar at the top, and you will be able to have full control over what is being played on the screen. In a nutshell, anything that works with Chromecast can be your TV’s remote control. How cool is that?
The question now is, will consumers bite? At $35 a pop, it might be quite the success, and Google’s rivals could look on in envy. Chromecast can be ordered online in the US via Amazon, Best Buy and Google Play from today, with the device being prepared to roll out in other countries as soon as possible.