Alright, the Chromecast may not rank high on the list of devices you're waiting to catch a deal on. $35 isn't the kind of price that has you setting aside paychecks. A kid could get one relatively quickly just by saving up their allowance.
The newest version of SoundCloud, which rolled out in the past week, has added a way to get independently created music streaming through your television sets. Now when you fire up the app, Chromecast-owning users will see the familiar icon located in the action bar. Or it will appear in the bottom left-hand corner if music is already playing.
To be honest, I'm still not sold on Vessel's business model, which posts original web video content a few days early to paying subscribers before it goes out to more general portals (usually YouTube). But the Android app seems more than serviceable even in its beta form, and the developers are adding features quickly. Case in point: the latest update adds Chromecast compatibility, which no video app should be without.
The feature works exactly as you'd expect it to: start a video and look for the Chromecast icon, then connect to a local Chromecast or Android TV device. You can connect on the main viewer screen as well, if you don't want to scramble to send your video as soon as it starts.
When Android TV launched, it did so to an attitude that, at best, could be described as lukewarm. Google has attempted to corner the living room for years now, and its most successful attempt - the Chromecast - has essentially undercut Google's own more ambitious TV products.
Google TV never really had a chance - it was slow, the hardware was never particularly powerful, and the remotes were a nightmare. Google eventually let GTV die by slowly letting it fade into uselessness piece by piece.
Chromecast actually launched before Google TV was really "dead" in any official sense, and its success was immediate.
HBO Now finally came to Android recently after a few months of Apple exclusivity, but it lacked Chromecast support. That's not a problem anymore as of the new v1.1 update. HBO Now can beam video direct to the Chromecast, and there are a few other tweaks too.
Do you have a Chromecast or an Android TV device? Then open up Chrome on your desktop, make sure that you've got the Chromecast extension installed, go to this website, click "redeem all offers," then click the Google Play offer in the upper-left corner. You'll get a free movie rental voucher on your account, which can be applied when you checkout any movie on the Play Store. HD movies are valid as well. Even though the freebie is specifically to promote the Chromecast's second birthday, connecting to an Android TV box will get you the credit too.
This offer is valid in the United States and a few other countries (commenters mentioned Germany, Australia, and France) but doesn't appear to be a worldwide promotion.
The Chromecast's 2.4GHz N Wi-Fi isn't always the most reliable, which can really damper the experience in a device that only has one job. So when Google released a way to guarantee a stable connection, it's easy to see why people jumped at the chance
The ethernet adapter is actually a power adapter with a 10/100 ethernet port down by the wall plug.
The Chromecast is a neat little device, even two years after it was released. However, the 2.4GHz N WiFi isn't ideal for all wireless environments. There's not a new Chromecast with better wireless yet, but Google has just released an ethernet adapter for the original Chromecast. Neat!
Video on your watch. Video... on your watch. Yup, it's a thing now. And not just any video, millions and millions of videos (at least 20% of which feature cats) on the world's biggest distribution service. Pack it in, NASA. Hit the showers, CERN. Go suck eggs, DARPA. There's no need to try anymore: now that we've got a YouTube app for Android Wear, humanity has reached its absolute peak.
Video for Android Wear & YouTube comes from appfour, the developer of AIDE, Gmail for Wear, and the Android Wear web browser. In that context this is sort of a natural progression, but it's still hard to think of the app as anything more than a novelty.
Microsoft has been promising Chromecast support in the OneDrive app for a while, but only now is it making good. The new v3.2 update includes support for Chromecast streaming of images and videos saved to your cloud storage.