Although most of the announcements made at Google's latest event were not a big surprise, the company managed to pull a shiny new rabbit out of its hat by announcing Chromecast, a smart HDMI stick device that runs on a proprietary version of Chrome OS, allows users to stream any content from "basically" any device via WiFi and even control some of the TV functions. Google Chromecast looks like an evolution of the Nexus Q, a short-lived device that never managed to get traction. Chromecast smells like Nexus Q done right.
Chromecast is a 2-inch long device that plugs into your spare HDMI input on the TV and naturally integrates Google's services like Youtube, Play Music, Play Video and Google's Chrome app. It sounds like great device that can even switch your TV on, find the right input source for itself and start playing whatever you decided to put on it via Chromecast button on some other device like the smartphone or tablet. It can even control the volume or skip videos and is capable of switching between devices since it is tied to your Google account.
It can also show your Chrome tabs and put them on the TV screen, browse photos on your Google+ account and do practically anything that you might want, stream from your portable device like a notebook, smartphone or tablet to your TV. The best part of the story is that it works on both Android and iOS and Google will also release the new Google Cast SDK for Android, iOS and Chrome (Windows, Mac OS and Chrome OS) that will allow third-party developers to add features.
Priced at US $35, the Chromecast is available on Google Play in the US for now and should be heading to retail on July 28th. Unfortunately, Google did not shed any light regarding the worldwide availability but hopefully we shouldn't wait too long.
Google again managed to launch an affordable device that practically has no direct competition on the market and we are sure that this little toy will be quite successful. You can check out a neat little video for Chromecast below.