Phone-Based Google Assistant Can Now Manage Chromecasts
Google has made it possible for people to control media playback on their Chromecast devices through their smartphone. The new behavior is available via Google Assistant on Android and iOS devices. People can issue voice-based commands on their mobile phone to play music and/or videos directly on Chromecast dongles, whether the dongles be attached to speakers, television sets, or embedded in boomboxes. People who own multiple Chromecast dongles can specify which one their phone controls. Prior to this change, a Google Home was required to control Chromecast dongles from a phone. Now, Google Home is no longer needed. The feature has been rolling out slowly, but Google confirmed that it is now available to everyone.
Google Overhauls Its Home Media App
Google today released a new version of Google Home, the mobile app smartphone owners use to interact with their Google Home speaker and Chromecast dongles. Google says the revised application should make it easier to find content to share with connected speakers and television sets.
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 Assistant Lets Device Makers Create Custom Actions
Google today introduced new Custom Device Actions for Google Assistant that will give devices native functionality specific to their hardware. Custom Device Actions build on the Assistant's existing Actions tool for issuing specific commands.