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Google's Chromecast streams both Android and iPhone content to your TV

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July 24, 2013

Google's new Chromecast streaming device lets you stream content from a variety of devices...

Google's new Chromecast streaming device lets you stream content from a variety of devices, including the iPhone

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That new 2nd-generation Nexus 7 wasn't the only piece of hardware Google cut loose today. It also announced a new device called Chromecast, which streams media not only from Android phones and tablets, but also from iPhones and other iOS devices, Windows, and Mac OS X.

Chromecast has some similarities to Apple's AirPlay, but these are two different beasts. Chromecast isn't tied to a set-top box like the Apple TV. Instead it's a small dongle that plugs into your TV's HDMI port. When you queue up a video, song, or web page to stream to your TV, your mobile device tells the Wi-Fi connected Chromecast to stream it. The processing doesn't happen on your device, the Chromecast streams it straight from the cloud.

The Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port

There are some limits here. While AirPlay works with a variety of Apple and third-party apps, Google only mentioned streaming support from Google Play, Netflix, YouTube, and Chrome, with Pandora coming soon. There's also no system-wide screen mirroring from your device, like with AirPlay, and no beaming of local video or audio files. Chrome web content does appear to mirror on both your device and TV.

But the other part of that tradeoff is greater flexibility. Mobile-to-TV streaming technologies are typically built on a proprietary model, trying to lock you in to one company's ecosystem. Though Chromecast's content selection is very Google-centric (Netflix is the lone exception so far), the fact that you can also use it with iPhones and any laptop with the Chrome browser installed is a nice, unprecedented bonus.

The only non-Google service that Chromecast currently works with is Netflix

Maybe the biggest perk for the Chromecast is its price, ringing up at just US$35. Google was originally throwing in three free months of Netflix, which almost paid for the device in itself, but Google has since withdrawn the offer for new orders. Apparently sales have been brisk enough that the promotion was no longer necessary.

Chromecast supports a maximum of 1080p output. It's compatible with Android 2.3 and up, iOS 6, Windows 7 and higher, and Mac OS X 10.7 and higher. It's available for order now at the source link below, but ship times have been pushed back to 3-4 weeks.

Product page: Google

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
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2 Comments

Great for both iPad and android to tv

Mark Windham
25th July, 2013 @ 09:30 am PDT

Really didnt expect this. Chromecast extension cannot be installed in both iPad as well as Android phone. This makes it handicapped. We cannot use the chrome browser from any mobile device to stream contents. Disappointed with the product. I expected it to work atleast with the android phone.

SatVim
6th November, 2013 @ 04:21 pm PST
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