It wasn’t just a new upgraded Nexus tablet complete with Android 4.3 (the latest iteration of the Jelly Bean flavour of Google’s mobile operating system) which Google launched today. Also announced was a new TV dongle, designed to compete with Apple TV.
Called Chromecast, the dongle plugs into a television’s HDMI port, and allows users to stream media from smartphones, tablets and computers. It will launch immediately in the US for $35 but international launches haven’t yet been confirmed.
Unlike other similar devices, such as Apple TV, with Chromecast the media is streamed from the cloud, rather than from the mobile device itself. The emphasis is very much on streaming clips from services such as YouTube and
Netflix via a far cheaper device.
Of course this isn’t the first time that Google has tried to break into the TV industry (a move many critics believe is an attempt to exploit TV’s strong advertising revenues) . It released a £200 set-top box with Sony which was poorly received.