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Chromecast

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Canadian Chromecast 2015 and Chromecast Audio owners can claim $20 of free Play Store credit

Google is an American company, as in the United States of America. That means that sometimes - okay, a lot of times - its new programs and promotions are first and often only available to Americans. But today our neighbors to the north finally get something that we don't. And it's pretty sweet: twenty bucks of free credit in the Play Store for owners of the Chromecast 2015 and/or the newer Chromecast Audio! That's better than a free Tim Horton's run.

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Chromecast's Fast Play Content Prediction feature has been delayed, still being worked on

Remember Chromecast's "Fast Play" feature? Well, some of it is out there in the wild now: for example, apps now can be pre-fetched by the Chromecast when they're loaded on your phone (this works for all Chromecasts). But the one feature a lot of people were looking forward to - video prefetching, aka Content Prediction - still isn't released.

Content Prediction is one piece of the larger Fast Play puzzle, but it's an important one. Content Prediction lets the Chromecast start to buffer a video before you even press the play or Cast button on your smartphone, with the idea that the video will start playing, essentially, instantaneously once you start it.

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[Deal Alert] Google Store joins in $100 off Nexus 6P deal, adds $30 off select Chromebooks, $5 off Chromecasts, and more

There's another Nexus 6P sale at retailers like B&H and Newegg, and as usual, Google is catching up with a sale on the Google Store. The 6P is $100 off, but there are some other goodies too. You can get deals on Chromecasts, the Huawei Watch, and more.

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Google celebrates the Chromecast's third birthday

Has it already been three years since the original Chromecast came out? My, how the time flies when you're streaming video. Google marked the occasion on the Google Store's Plus page with the nifty animation below, but there aren't any promotional deals. Not that you really need them - it's $35, for cryin' out loud.

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[Deal Alert] New Chromecast offer gets you 75% off any movie rental in Google Play (US only)

The Chromecast only costs $35, which is a great value for the hardware. That's just the start, though. Google regularly offers promos for Chromecast users such that you might actually make money on the device over time. The latest offer is for 75% off any movie rental in the Play Store, but be aware this is US only.

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[Deal Alert] Chromecast Audio £15 At Currys With Free Delivery

If you're a regular reader, you'll be familiar with our US Deal Alert posts. The occasional European deal alerts also pop up as well, but as of yet we've had no UK-specific deal alert (or none that I can find, anyway). That changes now, with the Chromecast Audio going down to £15 at Currys.

The Chromecast is normally £30 in the UK, so £15 is a considerable saving. I'm debating buying one despite not having any speakers to use it with (yet). The deal is only for delivery or click and collect - it's not available off the shelf in a Currys brick-and-mortar store.

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Vizio's New SmartCast Sound Bars Are Cast-Enabled, Start At Just $180

If you've been waiting to "smart" up your home theater's audio, Vizio may have just given you incentive to pull the trigger on a purchase with its new SmartCast sound bar collection, launched today. They start at just a paltry $180 for the basic 38" three-driver sound bar and go all the way up to $500 for fully-equipped 5.1 systems. What makes them smart? Well, they're Google Cast enabled right out of the box, meaning you can cast audio to your Vizio SmartCast speakers just like a Chromecast, and that's pretty damn cool.

At launch, Vizio has nine configurations available, so there's probably a setup that fits in a price:performance:practicality bracket for you.

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[Update: Deal Back June 6 - 17] [Deal Alert] Chromecast And Chromecast Audio On Sale For $5 Off Everywhere

The Chromecast and Chromecast audio are already very competitively priced devices at $35 each, but they're even cheaper today through May 8th. Both devices are $5 off at most retailers, bringing the price down to $30. Oh, and Amazon doesn't sell the Chromecast at all because reasons.

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Android TV Will Support Picture-In-Picture, Live Recording, HDR, And New Apps - Google Cast Functionality Will Be Included In More Televisions

Android TV didn't get much screen time at the opening keynote of the Google I/O developer conference, but there were a few goodies mentioned for upcoming builds. Specifically, VP of engineering David Burke showed off a new picture-in-picture mode that allows users to continue a streaming video while doing something else in the main ATV user interface, such as performing a voice search or downloading an app.

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Google Cast v1.15 Reveals A New Firmware Preview Program And Some Possible New Hardware Categories [APK Teardown]

The Google Cast app doesn't get much attention these days. It's the type of software that remains installed on our phones, but rarely opened since it is rarely needed any time other than to set up Wi-Fi on a Chromecast. Otherwise, it stays out of the way and doesn't need a lot of updates. Still, a seemingly minor version bump occurred last week and it might be giving away a couple of pretty interesting details about future plans for our favorite streaming dongles.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (application packages) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
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