Ever since the dawn of the smartphone, streaming media has gotten bigger and bigger, and we have struggled to find easy ways to fling the media we hold on our handheld devices to the big screen. While there has been many ways to get our favorite streaming media onto our TV’s for some time, like micro USB to HDMI for example, it wasn’t until the launch of Google’s streaming media HDMI dongle, the Chromecast, that things became truly simple and allowed for the mass majority to put what they want to watch onto their TV’s using their smartphone as the control. The Chromecast has come quite a long way and has been out for well over a year now, and it’s still the number streaming media device out there even with all the competition that has emerged and is still coming.
It has direct competition from the likes of Amazon with Amazon Fire TV, and the new Fire TV Stick, the Nexus Player, as well as other devices like the Roku 3500R, the upcoming streaming stick from Mozilla and Microsoft’s new streaming stick. While some of the other options have more capability, Chromecast still comes out on top. Is it because of the ease of use? The price? The compatibility with many of Google’s services and apps and the support for top streaming content providers like Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora, and HBO GO? Is it all of these things? Probably. It also doesn’t hurt that there are some pretty cool features like the all new guest mode making it even easier for others to share content to your Chromecast device, and we’re pretty sure that people enjoy the deals like the current promotion running on the Chromecast for the free $20 in Play Store credits when you buy the device before December 21st.
Whatever your own reasons are for owning and choosing a Chromecast over the competition, most people can probably agree that is simply the most inviting. Sure the screen casting feature may have some slight lag which if made better and lag free could allow for tons more functionality, but the overall library of apps that have Chromecast support is growing(this includes Chromecast specific games)which almost makes you forget about the screen casting feature altogether. I for one haven’t thought about it for months, until this very moment as I’m writing about the Chromecast. The little dongle is easy to set up too, which is undoubtedly another reason why consumers flock to it in droves. All you have to do is plug it in, and then activate the code that pops up on screen via the provided web address through your browser. Being literally pocket size, it’s also plenty more portable than streaming devices that have more functionality like the Fire TV or the Nexus Player, making it easy to tote around and bring with you pretty much anywhere.
I know I’ve already mentioned the ease of use, but I feel that the simplicity of the setup and the user experience is something worth focusing on. Now that my parents for example(two people who are more or less technically challenged)have internet, I can think about getting them a streaming media device. I have loads of options, but I would never get them something like the Amazon Fire TV or a Roku box. Simply because they probably wouldn’t know what to do with it, and would call me over constantly to help them put on shows until a year or two later they finally get the hang of it. With the Chromecast however, they’d likely be able to set it up themselves and since the interface for flinging content is on their phones, it would be easier for them to stream their favorite TV shows and movies. Yes, the Chromecast is a wonderful little piece of technology and we can’t wait to see what else Google and app developers have in store for it.