Big deal, right? I mean, there are many streamers out there that work just fine, why would I buy this Chromecast thing? While Apple TV pretty much owns this space right now, Roku and others offer some pretty awesome solutions for this. So what is Google’s game plan here? Why is Chromecast interesting?
You may have heard, Google announced a few new toys yesterday including the new Nexus 7 and Chromecast. What is Chromecast, you ask? It is a tiny little dongle (the only word that still trumps fablet on the “Please never use” scale) that when connected to any HDTV, enables you to stream content from your phone, PC or tablet wirelessly.
Let’s be honest, YouTube is becoming more and more central to our entertainment needs. Especially if you are between the ages of 6 and 16. Kids don’t buy music nowadays, they don’t even download it—they just stream it from YouTube. Now YouTube is available on Apple TV, if you can call it that. It is a pretty limited app, similar to most Google apps on iOS (ahem, Gmail). Something tells me YouTube on Chromecast will offer the full-blown experience. In addition, there’s the fact that Chromecast is optimized for Chrome usage, which is by far, the best browser out there right now.
When Google says they want to create a developer ecosystem around a product, you know they mean it. The Google Cast SDK, which will allow developers to stream their content to Chromecast is live and developers are surely going to adopt it on a wide scale.
While the Apple TV is pretty nice looking and relatively easy to set up, nothing beats Plug and Play, literally. Plug this little guy on to your standard HDTV and with no wires, no setup, you are good to go. That will surely appeal to a whole lot of people (I am one of those people).
So you know how Apple has Airplay and Apple TV? And you know how the leading mobile platform today is not iOS, but Android? Right, so Android users, and Windows users, and anyone else are all outta luck with Airplay. Not the case with Chromecast. It supports Android, iOS, Windows on the PC, OSx, Chrome OS and even Windows Phone 8. So there’s that.
Are you sitting down? Listen, I love my Apple TV, I really do. But it costs $99. There are many other great streaming products out there that cost just as much if not more. Google is offering this bad boy for less money than I spend on an average date night dinner. $35. Yes, really.