The Google Chromecast 2 Media Streaming Device is a revolutionary streaming device. It is a tiny dongle, a USB key lookalike, that plugged straight into an HDMI socket and let users stream video from their smartphone or tablet to any TV or monitor.
However, the home-entertainment market has moved on since that first Chromecast. Newer products such as the Roku TV streaming stick and Amazon fire TV stick have encroached on Google’s territory.
Now the device has a round chassis that connects to your TV’s HDMI port. Google has also made the Chromecast cross-platform, adding support for iOS and Windows.
This compatibility – combined with the Chromecast’s low cost – makes it a compelling alternative to the Apple TV. The setup process is pretty much identical to the one with the original Chromecast. Simply attach the power cable and install the Chromecast app on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
From there you power up the app and follow the on-screen commands to connect the Chromecast to your Wi-Fi network and pair it with your device. Once this is done, you’re ready to stream.
Chromecast – The New App
Despite having the same setup process, the Chromecast 2 runs using a completely redesigned application. Google describes the app as a hub for all your digital content needs. It works by pulling content from all the apps installed on the device that it can stream from into a single-pane of glass interface.
The Chromecast has a cross-platform search function in the Home app, enabling you to hunt for specific content across your installed apps. This is one of the biggest and most important updates to the Chromecast, moving it from a basic streaming stick into an all-in-one entertainment hub.
The Chromecast also now supports a greater number of apps. For entertainment, Spotify is the biggest new addition. The first Chromecast didn’t have the functionality to let you stream music from Spotify to your TV, which was annoying for those who didn’t have a decent Bluetooth speaker or home sound system.
Also new to the Chromecast is support for productivity applications. These include Google’s own Docs as well as third-party services such as Polaris Office.
Charging Connectors: Micro USB, Connectivity/Network: Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz), Memory: N/A (512 MB DDR3L). Mirror the Android Phone Screen or Chrome Browser, Requirements: (TV with an HDMI Port, Wi-Fi Network, Compatible Computer or Tablet or Mobile Device). Chromecast Works with iPhone, iPad, Android Phone or Tablet, Mac, Windows Laptop or Chromebook. Dimensions: 51.9 x 51.9 x 13.49 mm, Power Cable Length: 1.75 m, Supported OS: (Android 4.1+, iOS 7.0+, Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.7 or Chrome OS). Unlimited Entertainment All on the Schedule, Better Way to Get Video, Music and Games to TV