Initial impressions of Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast was easy to set up as many people have said online. I configured mine from my Android phone (JB 4.3). However as Chromecast has not been officially released internationally the Chromecast app was not available in PlayStore (when accessing in Singapore); this app was eventually found in a link on XDA forum which is not ideal from a security perspective. By the way the equivalent Chromecast app was available on iTunes store but I stuck to the Android app because iOS route seems to involve a few more steps so I decided on going the simpler route.

The concept of Chromecast is simple and brilliant. After your device – be it an iOS or Android device, or even a PC as long as they are on the same network – has done the necessary handshaking with some cloud-based service, such as YouTube, Netflix or Google TV content, the final step is taken over by Chromecast, bypassing the original device. Since I don’t have a Netflix account, my testing involved only streaming of YouTube content – console game reviews actually 🙂 . While I already own an Android-based media player, the Veolo 2 from AC Ryan, to search, select and queue clips from YouTube on my iPad (and presumably on other Android tablets and phones) is a vastly superior experience to doing the same using the air mouse to navigate and keying in the search terms. A touch interface directly in front of you is simply more intuitive and accurate than waving a mouse on the screen some distance away from my experience.

A second aspect which I think Chromecast has an advantage over other streaming-type gadgets (and I include most network media players), basically any app (mobile or otherwise) which is Cast-compatible can make use of the device, no additional wires needed, provided they are on the same network. Ultimately this means that while being able to project to a larger screen (presumably that is the main reason for getting the Chromecast!?) is a bonus, you don’t need to go to great lengths/pains to extend the existing user experience.

Here’s hoping that Google will open up the Chromecast APIs at some point and that more apps will be available which will make use of these APIs.

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