Chromecast makes streaming to TV cheap and easyGoogle unveils new software and products, including an updated Nexus 7 tablet and a TV streaming stick with huge potential.
Google just made it super easy and super cheap to stream video to your television. I am Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Google has come up with a device that lets you stream online media to any HDTV for just $35. Say hello to the Chromecast. It's a small stick you plug in to the HDMI port on the back of any TV you connected to your home Wi-Fi, and with a tap of a button you take the video or music that's playing on your phone or your tablet or even your computer and you beam it to your TV. It works with Android devices as well as iPhones and iPads, and it works with Chrome web browser for Windows and Mac computers. Apps for Netflix and YouTube have a Chromecast button programmed in and you can also stream videos and music from Google Play. Your device becomes your remote for controlling playback and volume. You can even multitask on your device without interrupting the video that's playing on your TV. It also can show anything from the web on your TV because it can mirror what's on your Chrome web browser. And that the cool perk is that any device in your home could become a remote control for what's currently playing on the TV regardless of which device started playing the video. So if your sister launches something from her iPhone, you can take over later from your Android tablet, and soon there will be more apps that work with Chromecast including Pandora. The price makes this an amazing product. For $35, it works with the computers you already have in your home. You can't beat that price and no other TV streaming product is this versatile. For example, Apple TV can do some of these things but it's limited to Apple products and it costs $100. Oh, and another perk if you weren't sold already, it comes with 3 months of free Netflix. But that's not the only Google news. The company also unveiled a brand new version of the Nexus 7 tablet which goes on sale Tuesday. This refreshed version of the popular 7-inch tablet has a full HD screen and a rear 5-megapixel camera but it costs a little more than last year's model starting at $230, and along with the new tablet comes a new version of Android. Android 4.3 operating system is a small upgrade to Jelly Bean. It includes multi-user restricted profiles. It's good for families that share a tablet and want to limit their kid's access to apps and prevent any app purchases. All Android users can also check out a new games app called Google Play Games. It shows what games your friends are playing, and Google Play will have a section just for textbooks. Instead of paying full price, students can rent a textbook for 6 months at an 80 percent discount. That's your Tech News Update. You could find more details at CNET.com/Update. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.