Google Reveals Android TV, Improves Chromecast
Google today announced Android TV, a new platform that will bring certain features of the Android operating system to smart TVs. The platform can be embedded in HDTVs, as well as installed in stand-alone boxes. It lets Android smartphones and tablets connect directly to TVs and control them. Android TV supports Play Store content, including games, and third party apps. Some of the initial batch of apps that will work on Android TV include Netflix, Plex, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Radio, and others. Further, Android TV supports casting, which will let Android smartphone and tablet owners push content from their mobile device to Android TV. The Google Play store for television sets will launch in the fall, as will Android TV set top boxes. Television makers such as Sony and Sharp will incorporate Android TV into their 2015 lineup. Google also talked about its Chromecast product. Chromecast is a thumb drive plug-in for HDTVs that can project audio and video content from Android devices to TVs. Until today, Chromecast required users to connect via the same Wi-Fi network. Chromecast is being updated, however, with the ability to cast from separate Wi-Fi networks. This means people can push content to a TV even when they aren't there or even nearby. The tool uses Google's cloud for authentication. Chromecast also adds the ability to exactly mirror what's on the screen of Android smartphones and tablets. The new features for Chromecast will arrive later this year.
Google Refreshes Its Chromecast Products for TVs and Stereos
Google today announced two new Chromecast products meant to help improve the living room experience. The Chromecast 2 TV dongle uses HDMI to plug into television sets and includes dual-band 802.11ac WiFi for improved performance with the local wireless network.
Google's Chromecast Ultra Supports HDR and 4K Video
Google today revealed the Chromecast Ultra, a new version of its home video HDMI dongle. Like last year's Chromecast, the Cromecast Ultra plugs directly into the HDMI port of television sets and allows people to cast content from their smartphones and tablets to their TVs.
Google Renames Chromecast, Adds Tech to TVs
Google today expanded the ecosystem of devices compatible with its casting technology to include standalone displays. The company partnered with Vizio and has added direct casting support to Vizio's P Series displays as well as Vizio's soundbars and speakers.
Chromecast Gains Material Design and Guest Mode
Google recently updated its Chromecast application for Android devices and refreshed it with Material Design. Beyond the new look Chromecast now supports guest mode, which Google says makes it easier for others to cast content from their Android device to Chromecast.