£23 Google Chromecast Dongle To Take On Smart TVs

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Google Chromecast will stream content from tablets and smartphones to HD TVs

Google has signalled its intention to compete with Smart TVs and Apple’s AirPlay with the launch of Chromecast, a $35 (£23) dongle that allows users to stream content from their tablet, smartphone or PC to their TV.

The device is connected through an HDMI port and is compatible with Android-based devices, iPhones, iPads and Chrome for Mac and Windows, with more platforms set to be added in the future.

What separates it from Airplay and other streaming solutions is that content can be streamed while other tasks are performed on the tablet, such as email or web browsing.

Google Chromecast

Google ChromecastCompatible apps include Netflix and YouTube, while content from the Google Play store can also be streamed. You can even stream any browser tab in Google Chrome, although this feature is in beta.

Other applications are in the pipeline, and Google wants developers to create even more. It hs created Google Cast, a technology that allows app creators to build consistent, intuitive multi-screen experiences for users.

A preview version has been launched and Google hopes the technology will become embedded in products from its hardware partners and integrated in mobile applications.

Chromecast is available from a number of online retailers and will be available in retailers from next Tuesday. However, it is so far only available in the US, while Google Play has already sold out its initial allocation.

Google also announced a successor to the Google Nexus 7 tablet yesterday. The new, thinner device has a full 1080p high definition screen and will also debut in the US next week.

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