Google officially unveiled the next generation of the Chromecast today which is already available for purchase starting today at the same low-cost price as the original Chromecast for $35. This time around though Google is offering the device in two fun new colors in addition to the standard black, which includes yellow and red. Although it comes in with the same price, Google’s new Chromecast is by no means the same Chromecast you remember. It comes with quite few improvements over the first model like Game Casting technology, faster WiFi support and a completely new design which makes it more portable than before and it now won’t stick out, as the Chromecast is now a round disc shape with an integrated HDMI cable you plug in allowing it to hang instead of protruding out from the HDMI port on your TV or monitor.
Alongside these new changes to an already great streaming device, the new Chromecast also supports a functionality for a much better streaming experience. Google is calling this new functionality ‘Fast Play’ and what it does is basically pre-load streaming content so things are ready for you when you want to begin watching virtually anything you use the Chromecast for. Google’s example at the event was with Netflix, and they showed off how Fast Play worked so you could see things in action and know what to expect when you have the new Chromecast in your own home.
As far as the details go for those who didn’t get to watch the livestream, Fast Play will allow applications that support Chromecast streaming to recognize the new Chromecast model connected to the network and will begin pre-loading content in the background. So if you walk in the home and connect your device to WiFi, turn on the TV your Chromecast is connected to and then proceed to do a few things before you begin watching, Netflix for example will see the Chromecast and load the content prior to you tapping the application to open it up. This will be able to shave off the extra time users currently spend waiting for the app to talk to the Chromecast device on the network.