Before you complain in the comments about the fact that all of these apps added Chromecast compatibility weeks ago... well, I suppose there's no power in the 'verse that can stop you. We reported that the TED Talks app got Chromecast powers back in November, but apparently Google's Chrome blog just spotted that today, and the Pac-12 app got it back in February. Qello Concerts? It was enabled on March 18th.
Synology, purveyor of network attached storage, has brought updates across the range of their Android interfaces for their products. Perhaps most interesting and useful is the latest update to DS photo+, which now allows you to stream photos and video via Chromecast or DLNA from your Synology NAS. If you utilize the private cloud setup offered on many of their devices, this could allow you to take your personal media to work, friends, or wherever else you may want to go.
Perhaps you recall the rash of Wiimote-related accidents seven or eight years ago. See, people got really, super into playing Wii, and sometimes the Wiimote just slipped and crashed into the TV. Motion Tennis Cast is kind of like Wii Sports Tennis, but you're controlling it with your phone. That's two expensive things you can break if the phone slips.
Google has done a spectacular job of improving and adding features to Chromecast. The low-cost streaming dongle continues to get better, even as it starts to close in on its 2nd birthday. The latest change makes it possible for Chromecast to receive commands from a TV remote, but it may not work on a lot of older televisions. This means users can finally enjoy the convenience of pausing and resuming with the push of a physical button without first turning on the casting device.
A couple of days ago, Google Drive made news with an update that introduced a new, intuitive Drag & Drop implementation for easier file management. While that appeared to be the only significant change, a look under the hood revealed not only that the Drive team is about to fulfill one of the most often requested features, but it also answered one of the many questions about the fate of Google+ Photos after the split.
Firefox's stable release channel for Android has bumped up to version 36.0 after spending about a month in beta. The most notable change in this update is a completely revamped tablet interface, which better uses larger screens and makes the app look more like its desktop counterpart.
There is now a full-screen version of the tab switcher, which might make management of large numbers of pages easier. A developer of the new look says that this page will be receiving several new features in the future that utilize the empty space better.
To be honest, I never really expected to have anything to say about a teardown of the Drive companion apps, but here we are. Google uses Docs, Sheets, and Slides to give Android a mostly seamless editing experience for each of Drive's primary document types. They've gone through a steady set of improvements since launching in April and June of last year, either keeping pace or progressively catching up with the features offered by their web counterparts.
Reports about the plans for the next major release of VLC Media Player indicate that support for Chromecast output is on the roadmap. This is scheduled for the v3.0 release of the popular desktop client, but it is unclear in which version to expect it to appear on Android - the beta in the Play Store is at 1.0.0.
While there are a bevy of changes expected in the project's jump from 2.2 (which itself is not yet released) to 3.0, of most interest to Android users and Google fans is the Chromecast capability.
Google services may take a while to make the long trek north from Seattle to Vancouver, Detroit to Toronto, or from Portland to Montreal—but Canadians still get to enjoy Google hardware such as the Chromecast. Television network CTV has added support for the spiffy little dongle inside the latest version of its Android app (though this, too, kind of took a while).
Chromecast support is the most exciting item on the changelog, but this release also tweaks the interface.
The Chromecast is not an expensive device, and it's even cheaper when you consider all the free stuff Google has given out to owners since it was released. In fact, the Chromecast has probably paid for itself and then some. Right now you can get a $6 Google Play credit if you have a Chromecast on your network, and you can do it multiple times if you have more than one.