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You can now assign each Google Home speaker to a specific room

If you use Google Home to control your smart home gadgets such as lights and thermostats, you'll probably be aware that you can assign them to different rooms in the house. That way you can turn multiple devices on or off with a single command, by saying "turn off the living room," for example. Until now, Google Home speakers themselves couldn't be added to a room, which didn't make any sense.

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Polk MagniFi Mini review: Impressive sound in a compact and versatile Chromecast soundbar

You know how they say big things come in small packages? Never has that saying been as true as it is with the Polk MagniFi Mini. From the moment I opened the box to this very second, this soundbar keeps on blowing my mind with how good it is. Impressive sound? Check. Plethora of options? Check. Chromecast built-in and Google Home compatibility? Check. Small form factor that could fit in front of many/any TV? You betcha. I could easily end this review here, but I'll do my job and write a few thousand words below... while listening to some music. It'll make the task more enjoyable.

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[Deal Alert] Get a Google Home, Hue White & Color A19 starter kit, and Chromecast for $209 at Best Buy ($135 off)

In the market for a Google Home to see what all the fuss is about or to supplement your already existing collection of speakers around the house? Then today's Best Buy deal might actually sway you to go big with your purchase by adding some lights and getting a free Chromecast.

Best Buy is selling the Google Home for $104.49 (MSRP $129) and the Philips Hue White and Color A19 Starter Kit for its $179.99 MSRP (though Amazon has it for $150). But if you add both to the cart, you will see the Home go down to $87.25, the Hue kit to $121.74, and a free $35 Chromecast will be added to the cart.

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Sony announces massive MHC-V90W Home Audio System with Cast support, for the low price of $1,299.99

Do you need a massive high-powered home audio system? How about one that can create disco lights or act like a Chromecast speaker? Then Sony's behemoth MHC-V90W Home Audio System may be for you, for the low cost of $1,299.99.

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[Update: Fixed in a recent beta] Latest Google Play Services seems to have broken casting using Android hotspot for WiFi

Around the world, a lot of people rely on their mobile devices as their only point of access to the internet and don't have a WiFi connection or router at home. For many of those people, using a Chromecast would have been impossible if it weren't for one small logical workaround: creating a hotspot with their phone that the Chromecast can connect to. Unfortunately, that workaround is no longer, uhm, working right now and it sounds like the latest Google Play Services is to blame.

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Google introduces a beta program for Cast for Android TV

The Google Cast Receiver app is necessary if you want to cast to your Android TV as if it were a Chromecast. Unfortunately, it's had pretty poor reviews since its release and it's about time Google did something about it. In a bid to improve the experience for developers working with the Google Cast SDK, and in turn make the app less buggy, the company is opening up a beta program that will offer early access to the latest features.

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The Chromecast is four years old today

Google tried several times to gain a foothold in the living room in the early days of Android. Remember the Nexus Q? And what about the Google TV debacle? Google didn't have a real hit until it simplified its approach and launched the Chromecast. That happened four years ago today on July 24, 2013. This continues to be one of Google's best media products.

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[Update: Live for everyone] You can disable all network media notifications for Chromecasts and Google Homes

The addition of Chromecast network notifications probably seemed like a good idea at the time. They allow you to control media even if you aren't the one who started playback. However, you see those notifications on your device even if you're not watching or listening to the content, and you can end up with multiple cast notifications on a busy network. Google is finally making these notifications optional with a toggle that turns off all the network notifications for your Chromecast or Google Home.

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HDR is live in Google Play Movies & TV, but only for the Chromecast Ultra

We knew this was coming from a teardown a while back, but it's finally here. Now you can watch supported content from Google Play Movies & TV in glorious HDR. At least, if you have a Chromecast Ultra and a compatible television. 

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[Deal Alert] Get a Google Home and Chromecast bundle for $99.99 ($65 off), or a Chromecast alone for $25 ($10 off)

Is your house missing some smart home essentials? Well now, you can knock that problem out for cheap. Google via eBay has both a Google Home and Chromecast 2nd gen bundle for just $99.99 - a savings of $65 over their combined MSRPs. And if you just want a Chromecast, you can pick up either the standard 2nd gen model or the Audio for only $25, which is $10 off the regular price.

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