When the Chromecast debuted back in 2013, it was a legitimate revolution: an incredibly cheap, incredibly simple gadget that let you send all the streaming video on your phone straight to your TV. But in the years since, Google has steadily lost ground in the set-top box market in pretty much every metric. The big winner at the moment is, indisputably, Amazon.
Google really knocked it out of the park on its most recent Chromecast. Adding an entire interface with remote support helped to push the gadget to the next level in the ever-competitive streaming scene. Of course, the addition of a UI also requires making the experience as accessible as possible. With Google's newest update to its streaming device, more streaming recommendations are now available in Spanish.
For most Android users, Microsoft's cloud storage will always play second fiddle to Google Drive. But those who are heavily invested in Office 365 or the Windows platform in general still want a good cloud storage app, and today the Android version of OneDrive is a little better. The latest update adds compatibility with the Chromecast and other casting devices.
Google's previous update for the Chromecast with Google TV fixed the annoying recovery screen error which, in certain cases, would require a reset to get the device working again. With that bug firmly in the past, a new update mainly focuses on improving the device and delivering some new functionality.
If you're buying a new TV, it probably has support for HDR content built right in. Of course, there isn't just one single HDR standard in use today. HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision — you've seen all of these names before, but being able to tell the difference between them can be challenging. For media providers and TV manufacturers, ensuring that compatibility for any HDR content is as broad as possible is crucial regardless of the standard. Thankfully, Chromecast with Google TV is gaining support for HDR10+ to get your favorite movies looking even better.
With movie theaters still closed in most places, the home theater experience is more important than ever. A spiffy Atmos surround sound system can take your viewing experience to the next level, but maybe you don't want to run wires or have speakers permanently installed around your room. Well, that happens to be the niche JBL is targeting with the JBL Bar 9.1. It's an Atmos-enabled soundbar with a whopping 820W of power and detachable satellite speakers that you can place around the room when you need them. It also has full integration with Google's Chromecast platform, so you can manage it from the Home app.
Earlier this month, Google announced new parental tools would finally be coming to all Google TV devices, beginning with its latest Chromecast, and the company has kept to its word. New child profiles are starting to appear for users in the US, improving how kid-friendly content is managed on its streaming software.
Google’s new Chromecast dongle has had its fair shareof issues, but none has been as vexing as Netflix refusing to play nicely with the device — which, ironically, has a dedicated Netflix button on the remote. More recently, things have started to change as Netflix is back to integrating well with Google TV’s core functions, just as it did earlier — but there are some parts that aren’t back on track just yet.
The Chromecast with Google TV has a lot more capability than previous Chromecasts, thanks to its new Android TV-based interface. Google is looking to expand its powers further with new software updates, which should also apply to other Google TV hardware (whenever it arrives). The company announced new tools for managing what kids watch, and how long they can watch it.
HBO Max first launched nearly a year ago, bringing the majority of Time Warner Media's catalog under one roof with select high-profile shows and movies from other companies. The service is likely seeing a boost in subscribers, thanks to all the movies Warner Bros. is releasing on HBO Max (alongside limited theatrical runs), and now there are some improvements in store for TV watching.