That cool little HDMI stick that Google released more than a year ago got more useful and more awesome when the Cast API became available for developers. And while there are now hundreds of apps with Chromecast support on the Play Store, Google keeps a small curated list of some of them, kind of like a featured selection. Every now and then new entrants are let into this special club, and the latest addition is a trio of interesting apps: musiXmatch, Lyve, and Fitnet.
Google Maps is one of those apps that will always have an enormous number of potential new features, so it's interesting to see the things Google is focusing on with each new release. We just saw an update to v9.2 with new navigation settings and auto-correct for searches, but there are plenty of other really interesting additions in the works. Let's take a look at some of the features we might have to look forward to.
At long last, Chromecast has a functional guest mode. While it presumably has something to do with the update to the Chromecast app that rolled out earlier Wednesday, the change did not appear immediately afterwards. Google apparently flipped a switch on the server side, and suddenly anyone with an up-to-date app can cast to a TV without being on the same Wi-Fi network. We've been waiting for this feature to roll out since it was announced way back in June at Google I/O.
Welcome to Google Update Wednesday, everyone, where you never know quite what you're going to get. The Wheel of Fate has given us a Chromecast update this week, and it's a doozy. A brand new user interface matches the rest of Google's various Material Design apps, more or less. But even more interesting is that the Chromecast app now allows screen casting (where your phone or tablet's screen output appears on your television) for all devices.
Google seems to be making a final push to get people buying Chromecasts before Christmas. If you buy one between today and December 21, you'll get a $20 Google Play credit to buy some new movies to stream on your TV. They don't make it too clear, but it appears you will need to buy from the Play Store to redeem this offer. Update: As commenter SEJ326 points out below, Chromecasts from both Amazon and Best Buy are also eligible for the offer.
Odds are pretty good that everyone in the US who really wants a Chromecast has been able to find one by now. But with a rock-bottom starting price and compatibility with a ton of third-party Android apps, not to mention the Chrome desktop browser and at least some iOS apps, it makes a great stocking stuffer for people who might not follow every facet of the technology world. If you agree, Amazon has a nice discount on Google's streaming stick at the moment.
When Comedy Central launched an official Android app a couple of months ago, people called for Chromecast support. Today, it's here, and it's not alone. TuneIn Radio has been around long before Google's little dongle, but its support is only now trickling in. These apps are just two in a wave of apps that have just learned how to play nicely with Chromecast.
Showtime Anytime, the cable network's Android app, has just received an update that adds Chromecast support. Essentially, the only change you will see in the app is that cast button, which lets you send your current screen and video streams to the television. By definition, TV series belong on the TV, don't they? So now you can enjoy Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan's riveting performances in Masters Of Sex on the biggest screen in the house.
If a smart sounding person has stepped onto a dimly lit stage and started to wax poetic about some seemingly lofty accomplishment or idea, you're probably in the midst of a TED talk. Don't panic. Stay calm, sit still, and listen. What you hear might just change the way you think.
Some people already thrive on a diet of regularly delivered mental floss, preferring to watch content that actually leaves them feeling better after binge watching a few clips.