Google today unveiled Chromecast, a small and affordable HDMI dongle powered by USB that challenges Airplay, one of the most popular features of Apple TV. When plugged into a HD TV, Chromecast allows users to “cast” online content from their smartphone, laptop or tablet to the TV screen.
An interesting addition of the Google Chromecast is that it works on almost all platforms: Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones, iPads, Chrome for Mac and Windows and the list will continue shortly. It also allows users to multitask while enjoying what’s on the TV screen. In case the TV is CEC-enabled, it will be able to automatically turn on the TV and start playing media automatically.
Google made its price very attractive: Chromecast is available for $35 only, compared to Apple TV’s $99 price tag.
An NPD Display report cited by AppleInsider points to an interesting fact: the most popular screen mirroring technology is Apple’s Airplay, used by the majority of tablet and smartphone owners. Since screen-sharing solutions are somewhat new, the vast majority of owners – despite being aware of the device’s screen mirroring capabilities – don’t use this capability.
A second reason for not using the screen-sharing technology is the limitations imposed by the manufacturer. Apple’s Airplay works with Apple TV only, while the second most popular tech – Samsung’s AllShare – requires a Samsung-specific box and mobile device.
With Chromecast, the issue seems to be resolved. And it is available on Google Play, Amazon.com and BestBuy.com for $35. Will you jump on this one?
Update: Chromecast will be available in the USA only. Time to head down to America for some shopping.