Today, Google announced a new little gadget called Chromecast. It is a device running a simplified version of Chrome OS. It enables you to get content from your phone, tablet, or laptop to a bigger screen. Simply plug it into an HDMI port, power it with USB, and use your device to control the streaming. It will, of course, be cross platform. Google showed Chromecast streaming working on Android, desktop Chrome, and iOS.
The video is retrieved by Chrome OS and streamed to the TV in full resolution. This has the advantage of letting you put your device to sleep or take it out of the local area while the video keeps going. Multiple devices will sync the control state so you can switch back and forth while still managing your video.
The Chromecast will grab streams from audio sources like Google Play Music and Pandora. The new Cast button will show up in the action bar of apps like YouTube, Pandora, and Netflix. Developers will have to implement this feature with the Google Cast SDK.
It is only $35 and you get three months of Netflix when you buy the Chromecast (US only at first). Even current Netflix customers can get the free months. It’s on sale today through Google Play, and very soon from retailers like Best Buy and Amazon. Google says it will ship by August 2nd.