It’s pretty safe to say that the most successful piece of hardware Google has ever created is the Chromecast. The $35 content-streaming dongle has been purchased by millions and it’s used, and loved, by them every day. Today Google updated the the Chromecast with not one, but two new hardware devices as well as new features. What’s new? Let’s take a look.
Second Generation Chromecast
First things first, let’s talk about the first piece of new hardware. The second generation Chromecast brings an all new design on the outside as well as refreshed and more powerful internals. On the outside the Chromecast is now a flat disc shape that hangs out of your HDMI port. The new design not only allows for better internal hardware, but also doesn’t block HDMI ports on your TV like the previous model did.
Inside this new Chromecast is a new triple adaptive antenna design that can connect to 802.11ac WiFi including 5GHz networks, both things the previous model couldn’t do. The new antenna design allows for much faster and more reliable WiFi as well.
The permanently attached HDMI cable also has a clever trick up it’s sleeve. Not only is it extra durable, but it uses magnets to keep the cable out of the way during travel. The new Chromecast is also available in 3 colors, Black, “Lemonade”, and “Coral”.
One of the biggest highlights of the new Chromecast is Fast Play. This new feature allows the device to load up your apps and content far quicker than it previous could.
Currently when you cast an app like Netflix, the Chromecast has to load up the connection then load up the content you want to watch. With Fast Play, Netflix will automatically detect if there is a Chromecast on your network when you open the app and it will connect in the background so it’s ready when you decide to cast. Fast Play also enables the device to begin buffering video it predicts you’ll want to watch before you hit play. That means the first few minutes of your video will be ready to go as soon as you hit play rather than waiting for it to begin loading. Netflix currently supports Fast Play and more content providers will gain access to it soon.
Where And How To Buy
The second generation Chromecast is available now to buy from the Google Store with shipping estimated for as soon as October 2nd (early buyers already have units being shipped). Best Buy is also currently taking pre-orders for the device although they are only carrying it in black. Walmart will also soon being carrying the device online and in stores. As of now, the 2015 Chromecast is available in 17 countries.
Regardless of where you buy, the 2015 Chromecast comes in at the same price as last year, $35.Buy it from the Google Store Pre-order from Best Buy