Chromecast (2015): 5 things to get excited about

Google has unveiled a new Chromecast and here’s what it the new streaming device can do.

Google has just unveiled the second iteration of its awesome Chromecast streaming dongle, along with a pair of Nexus phones. The latest version completely alters the design, adds in improved wireless connectivity and a host of new features. And it still costs just £30.

Here’s the key new Chromecast features we’re most excited about.

It looks a lot different

As you’ll notice from the pictures, the 2015 Chromecast looks a lot different to its older brother. Gone is the slightly bulbous dongle design from last year, replaced by something completely different. The new Chromecast is a circular device, with an attached HDMI cable. This will help it fit better into your crowded television ports, as it won’t need to directly plug in and stick out.

Related: Nexus 6P vs Nexus 6
Chromecast Audio 9

There’s also a few more colour options this year. You’ve still got black, but there’s now a yellow and red option too. How snazzy.

It’s faster, more powerful and has better Wi-Fi support

One of the main issues with the previous Chromecast was that it had limited Wi-Fi support, it didn’t work on 5GHz bands for example. Thankfully this has been remedied with the updated model.

The WiFi architecture has been completely rebuilt with a new adaptive antenna system, that should decrease buffering times and make everything load much faster.

Related: Nexus 5X vs Nexus 5

Google 9

Fast Play is another feature designed to speed things up, this will preload content as soon as you open up the new Chromecast app.

Games are coming to the Chromecast

There are loads of ways to play games on your television these days, and we’re not just talking about traditional consoles. Both Android TV, Amazon’s Fire TV and Apple’s new TV box all put mobile games right up on your television.

You can now add the Chromecast to that list.

During the announcement, Google showed Angry Birds GO beamed from an Android device to the TV, with the phone becoming a controller. It’s sort of like what can do with AirPlay and an iOS device, but hopefully a bit smoother.

The resolution stays the same, but so does the price

Unlike

devices like the latest Amazon Fire TV, Google has decided to keep the

resolution of the new Chromecast at 1080p, rather than pushing it up to

4K.

This seems to make a lot of sense, especially as it’s such a

low-price device. Adding in 4K support would need speedier hardware,

thus raising the price.

Chromecast Audio 13

Speaking

of the price, it’ll be coming to the UK for £30 which is about the same

as the original Chromecast was it was first released. Still a fantastic

tech bargain.

The Chromecast app has been redone

To go along with the new Chromecast, Google has spruced up the companion app. It now acts as more of a content hub, so it’ll pull in stuff to watch from all the Cast enabled apps you’ve got installed on your Android or iOS device.

There’s also voice search, so you can just say the name of the movie you want to watch instead of typing it out. This is universal and not restricted to Google’s own apps, so with an update it should work with, say, Netflix.

Finally, the app now acts as more of an obvious remote with new playback controls meaning you won’t have to dive into separate apps all the time. Again, a really nice touch.

Are you excited about the new Chromecast? Let us know in the comments section below.