The Chromecast, Google’s media streaming dongle device, is expected to launch in the UK next month. It could be hitting our shelves as early as 1stMarch, with major electronics retailer Currys noting the date for provisional release.
Users can access apps and internet videos on their TVs by plugging the dongle into the HDMI port on DVD players or cable boxes. The device then connects to a WiFi network to allow the users to interact with their TV by using their Android smartphone like a TV remote control.
When the user presses the ‘Cast’ button on a compatible app, it will be reformatted and sent to the TV. Not only will this mean the content can be viewed on a larger screen, but all the clutter that comes with an internet app will be removed.
The dongle was made available in the US market last summer and now, ahead of the UK launch, Google are planning to offer a wider selection of apps.
The company placed the main focus of the Chromecast on streaming apps;working with popular video titles such as Netflix and music apps such as Rdio and Beats Music. Google also aims to use the dongle to present its video siteYoutube as a platform for viewing mainstream TV and film releases, in addition to short user uploaded content.
However, Google has recently opened up the Chromecast to third-party developers, launching an official Google Cast SDK to app makers and broadening its potential. In a blog post, the company stated: “That means even more of our favourite movies, TV shows and music will become available on the Chromecast as developers work with the SDK”. The device wasautomatically updated for users in the US market to take advantage of the Google Cast SDK.
As well as encouraging a wider range of audio and visual content from various sources, the new open platform could result in a new gaming experience. With the mobile gaming market booming, resulting in game apps outselling handheld consoles for the first time, developers are likely to show an interest in this new form of interaction.
Devices are already available that allow mobile game play on TV screens, but Google’s extensive app store could easily give them the edge on the market.With casual and casino games now becoming as popular as PC and console games, many major gaming brands like butlersbingo.com could soon make their titles compatible with the Chromecast.
With a whole host of compatible apps expected to launch over the coming months, the Chromecast could prove very popular come its UK launch. Details on the UK price have yet to be released but retail estimates value the device at between £30-£40.