The Google Chromecast has been in my hands for only three days, but I already see the full value. Still, with only four apps currently, many may ask, what exactly can the chromecast do? Well here are 12 functions that you can perform using the chromecast right out of the box. This is the first part in a multipart series on Chromecast uses, which will be built up as more and more Chromecast apps make their way to market.
- Watch Videos: From cat videos, to your best friend’s baby crawling, if it’s on Youtube, you can watch it in beautiful HD on your TV screen.
- Make Presentations: Using web based solutions (like Google Drive, Prezi, iCloud, and Dropbox), you can make full presentations using the Chromecast. Simply share a tab with a presentation, and you have a perfectly capable solution for wirelessly connecting to that big screen TV in your office. Bosses Rejoice!
- Monitor Your Website: If you visit a high budget startup, you may notice that they have displays showing their user statistics live. For example, Google has a constantly updated wall of new search terms. You can do this for your own website, by pulling up your live statistic program in Chrome, and then casting the tab. At the time of this writing, five people were currently browsing The App Store Chronicle.
- Movie Night: The Chromecast is also highly capable for entire films. Using Google Play, Netflix, or Youtube, you can watch just about every film known to man, and in full HD quality too!
- Family photo slideshows: Having relatives over soon? Services like Flickr, iCloud, and Shutterfly allow you to flip through a slideshow of your latest photos, and specific albums, right from Chrome. You can even let it play automatically, allowing friends and family to look whenever they please.
- Browse the web: This one is obvious, but it’s incredibly useful. This is the differentiating feature between the Chromecast and all other streaming devices.
- Multitasking: Browse the web while you watch a video. Send an email while watching your twitter feed. Sending a tab over to your TV allows you to do multiple things at once, and the added screen real estate frees up room to do three things at once (if you’ve got the skills).
- Videochatting: Via web-based videochatting services like Google’s hangouts, you can display your loved ones/coworkers/anyone on a larger screen, making it even more personal. Learn more about how to do this properly using the droid lawyer’s instructions.
- Teaching: The Chromecast is going to be huge in education. It makes the once-expensive technology of mirroring far more accesible. The Chromecast will be big for classroom demos, tutorials, and other educational experiences.
- Watching the News: Several websites have live streams of the latest news (as in a stream of headlines). You can also watch live feeds of CNN, and a few other news sources via their websites.
- Watching the Markets: Several websites and chrome extensions also offer live tickers (of stocks) allowing you to watch your favorite stocks, without having to switch to another website, or interrupting your day.
- Broadcasting Live: The lag when browsing is a problem for most video, but for those who live stream events, it has no effect. Since broadcast monitors don’t need audio anyway, and there’s already a delay, the Chromecast may function as a decent broadcast monitor (especially for the price).
Stay tuned as this list expands, and for my full review of the Chromecast, coming soon.
Google released a new device today that promises to make streaming media to your television dramatically simpler, and that device costs $35. Google’s original venture into television (Google TV) in 2010 involved buying a new TV or an expensive device, and was criticized for limited functionality, and complicated software. Google’s next venture, the nexus Q completely flopped, once again facing limited functionality and a (really) high price tag. This new venture, on their chrome line, is a very exciting I just bought mine, and you can get one here, if you’re interested.
This new device, the Chromecast, promises simpler, more affordable hardware, and useful functionality. So, what does it do?
Setup is extremely easy. Find an open HDMI port on your TV (most TVs have between two and five), and plug it in. The chromecast is barely bigger than a thumbdrive and doesn’t require a single cord. From there, just set it up on your home WiFi network, and you’re ready to watch/listen/whatever you plan on doing. There are no annoying remotes to deal with either. You can control it via a Mac, PC, Android, or iOS device, and it’s all done over Wifi.
Apps are limited at the start, but from the start, you can stream from:
- Netflix: I’m particularly excited about being able to control my netflix from my computer, while watching it on my TV.
- Google Play: Google’s Version of iTunes:
- Chrome: Particularly exciting. This means that you can easily browse the web on your TV.
Where It May Be Lacking:
I’m surprised not to see Hulu Plus available from the start. The users of that program are in the dark for now, although the ability to stream from the Chrome browser means that their is a lower resolution access route to Hulu. I’m also surprised not to see services like Pandora available. Still, for the price, I’d say the starting selection is more than adequate.
If you’d like to pick one up now for $35, you can buy it right here. I also bought from Amazon.
So you want to download Android Studio, Google’s new Android intergrated Development enviroment, released at 2013 Google IO? We’ve got you covered. Get it before your friends and colleagues by following these 4 steps.
- Visit this hidden support page, which has the Android Studio download
- Accept the terms and conditions. and click the download button.
- Have fun, and enjoy the brilliant new environment.
- Check out our Google section for the latest from IO, and more.