Tech giants have been trying to make their way into our living rooms over the past several years with streaming TV services. Apple TV, Amazon streaming, and Google Chromecast have all been in an arms race to offer the best technology at the most affordable prices. Since 2013, Google’s Chromecast “TV stick” has been slightly ahead of the competition with better features and more affordability. Android TV, which was announced last year, functions more like a set-top box and features software that easily merges its technology with that of your TV and remote. Google’s most recent added feature will surely secure its spot in first place.
When Chromecast first emerged on the market, it worked like a cherry picking device. Users would choose a show they wanted to watch from an app on their smart phone, then “cast” it onto their TV screen. Now, Google has evolved the device to allow users to queue a stream of videos, much like watching nonstop TV. While the user is watching one show, Chromecast is busy buffering the next one for delivery, so there are virtually no lags between videos.
Google has also developed a new gaming interface that allows several devices to connect to a receiver, which allows consumers to play multiplayer games through the Chromecast interface. Essentially, this API turns tablets and smart phones into video game controllers, while the Chromecast itself acts as a console. Chromecast product manager Nathan Camarillo demonstrated the devices motion gaming capabilities at a developers conference in late May.
The Chromecast’s ability to connect multi-player gamers across several devices is a huge benefit to game developers. They can now begin developing apps that let users control games on their TV from their smart phones. It’s not all games either; developers themselves can use motion controls to use image editors, present slideshows, and make changes to virtual aesthetics, easily and remotely.
By adding the ability to binge-watch streaming TV and control games from multiple devices, Google has taken a big step ahead of the competition.