Hide the kids
Google already handles your directions, your e-mail and search. Now it's looking at your TV.
Google has launched Chromecast, a new device that lets anyone use their TV to watch videos from their smartphones, tablets or laptops. The technology giant unveiled Chromecast during a presentation in San Francisco on Wednesday, which was also simulcast on YouTube.
Anyone using Chromecast can now watch a YouTube video on their TV with the click of a button, or, more accurately, the tap of the "Cast" icon. The device hooks up to the TV using the HDMI port – the same one you use for Roku or several other set-top boxes.
To use the device, you also need to be connected to a WiFi network — similar to Apple's AirPlay. The videos you try to watch – whether off YouTube, Netflix or HBOGo – are transferred via the cloud, meaning that you can still use your phone for other internet-based activities.
The device is the latest in a string of efforts by tech-focused companies to establish a foothold in the living room. Microsoft has attempted to make the Xbox the focal point of anyone’s home entertainment experience while Apple has tried to use Apple TV and Airplay – even if Apple CEO Tim Cook calls Apple TV a hobby.
There are persistent rumors about Apple and others companies making a TV of their own as well.
While Apple's devices only work with Apple produces, Google said that Chromecast will work with a number of different smartphones, including those running its Android operating system and Apple’s iOS. It costs $35.
In addition to Chromecast, Google announced a new Nexus 7 tablet, which is the first to ship with Google's new Android operating system — jellybean.
Here's a video about Chromecast: