During a low-key event that largely focused on the Nexus 7, Google surprised everyone by announcing a new streaming dongle called Chromecast. In a nutshell, Chromecast allows smartphones, tablets and laptops to beam content to your HDTV, so you no longer have to struggle with staring at a small screen. Google would never admit it, but Chromecast is a clear follow up to last year’s failed Nexus Q, only this iteration is just $35. And it actually has value.
Simply insert the dongle into an HDMI port on your TV, and just like that you can watch Netflix, Google Play, and YouTube content on a bigger screen. Google promises it’ll “just work,” which is a big part of the device’s appeal—and it outputs videos at 1080p. The great thing about it is that it supports multiple devices—even iOS—and works through Chrome on your PC.
At the moment, content is limited—Google spent a great deal highlighting YouTube content only—but the search giant is releasing an SDK, so Chromecast will eventually support much more content. And hey, if nothing else, your purchase of Chromecast comes with three free months of Netflix, basically paying for device. Check out our quick unboxing of the Chromecast, and stay tuned for more on Google’s strange little streaming dongle.