On the other hand, Google’s new Chromecast Audio allows users to stream music to standard speakers directly from their Android smartphone, iPhone and laptop and can turn any speaker with an auxiliary input into an Internet-capable device.
In addition to a pair of new Nexus smartphones, Google unveiled two new Chromecast devices during its announcement-filled media event earlier today in San Francisco. The main thing is that you can Cast video from your phone or tablet to the TV and it does support bundle of applications including Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, Pandora and Spotify. There’s also an updated Chromecast app coming soon which should help you discover more cast-able media to enjoy.
Chromecast Audio is selling now for a separate $35, but it’s only available in black.
Google scored a hit with its first Chromecast streaming stick which was released in 2013, the HDMI dongle has sold millions of units across the globe and people had high hopes from the second-generation Chromecast. The Chromecast Audio will connect to your existing speakers or amplifier through a conventional 3.5mm jack (phono/RCA or optical SPDIF), essentially turning any speaker into a wireless-enabled one.
Chromecast’s audio device syncs with Spotify or any tab in a computer’s Chrome browser. Chromecast now also has a “Fast Play” feature that uses pre-loading and smart caching of content to speed up the time before content and apps start playing. If you don’t already have the app or haven’t yet downloaded the update, it is available through Google Play and iTunes. Google say they are “constantly adding new apps, so there’s no end to the music, radio stations and podcasts that you can enjoy”. It sits behind the screen on my wall and I can basically stream anything I want to it, whether from an iOS or Android device. The Chromecast is still $35.
A Chromecast gizmo simply requires a HDMI port in which you plug this gadget and a USB port as well.