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. Read More
Have you been having trouble casting videos or other content to your Chromecast or Android TV device lately? You're not alone - we've been getting tips for the last day from all over the Android world about casting failures, and based on threads on Reddit, XDA, Google's support forums, and even NVIDIA's SHIELD forums, the issue has been affecting hundreds and possibly thousands of people. Various culprits have been suspected, from a recent Marshmallow update for the Nexus Player to compatibility tweaks for the new Chromecast model. According to a Reddit user claiming to be a member of Google's Cast on Android TV team, it isn't either of those. Read More
Chromecast Audio is a very simple product, and that’s probably the best thing about it from a consumer’s standpoint. You plug it in to power and then into an audio output source like an A/V receiver or a powered speaker. The Chromecast Audio supports either standard stereo audio cables or optical via a mini-digital connector. From there, just open the Chromecast app and get the device set up on your Wi-Fi network. That’s it - you’re done.
Now, any cast-enabled device within a reasonable proximity of the Chromecast Audio can tell it to play audio, regardless of whether it is on your Wi-Fi network, just like Chromecast. Read More
Google Photos may have started as a part of Google+, but since splitting into a standalone product, it has to move quickly to introduce new features and improvements to keep users engaged. The latest update to v1.5 didn't bring any visible changes to the app, but it does include evidence of some interesting changes we can look forward to in upcoming releases. Read More
In a rare twist, Google was quick to update a changelog on the Play Store, and this one is definitely worth it. Some big improvements have been made to the Chromecast (Google Cast) support in the latest update to Play Music, including some stability improvements, gapless playback, and continuous playback after a caster leaves the area. On top of that, a look inside turned up evidence that Google may soon allow users to "gift" subscriptions to other people. If you just can't wait to get the goods, we've got a download link at the bottom.
It's highly unusual, but a changelog was posted right away with the release of the latest update. Read More
If you use Google Play Music on your Chromecast on a regular basis, you may have noticed a few issues lately. According to this Google support forum thread, casting Play Music to a nearby Chromecast has been broken for about three weeks for at least some users. Once the music playback begins on the television it reports an error shortly thereafter. Multiple users began reporting the same problem and similar issues.
It doesn't seem to be universal - trying out the casting feature in Google Play Music on my Nexus 6 and SHIELD TV doesn't appear to be broken - but enough people are experiencing it that it's beginning to gain notice. Read More
Lenovo has taken the opportunity at its Tech World 2015 conference to announce the Lenovo Cast, a new accessory that aims to mirror your Android device's screen to the TV. The device is puck-shaped and connects through a cable to the HDMI port on your television.
Unlike the Chromecast, which uses Google's proprietary casting technology, Lenovo Cast is built on Miracast and DLNA, the standards that are available in most modern Android devices (sometimes under the Miracast option and other times under Wireless Display). Read More
Toddlers deserve teardowns too! Ok, maybe teardowns are still for grownups, but let's do something for those little ones that haven't learned to read xml yet. The YouTube Kids app has only been available since late February, so it's fair to expect a lot of changes and new features in each release. Last week's update brought immersive mode and better voice search, but a look inside revealed that there are some extra toys in the future. To begin with, it looks like Chromecast support is right around the corner. However, the really cool addition appears to be a built-in recording mode to capture your little one singing along to The Wheels On The Bus. Read More
Update Wednesday came and went this week, leaving us with about a dozen new and updated apps. Project Fi and Google Connectivity Services were added to the Play Store in preparation for Google's first MVNO customers, and new versions were rolled out to bring Quick Reply to Messenger and prepare Google+ for the wide release of Collections. A small bump to Google Play Music also made the list, but there wasn't much in the way of visible changes. However, a look inside suggests there may soon be a new behavior when two or more devices try to use the same Chromecast at once.
: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence.
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.
This is possible through the use of HDMI-CEC, the protocol that allows multiple devices on an HDMI chain to communicate between each other. Read More