Google launched the Chromecast exactly one year ago yesterday, and the $35 streaming stick has made some impressive progress in the intervening 365 days. The media player has added a ton of features, but Google also revealed that it has powered over 400 million Casts thus far, which involve users running software on their Android, iOS or PC device to displays connected to the Chromecast.
Chromecast is Google’s stripped down strategy for taking over your living room with a low-cost ($35) streaming HDMI stick that will ‘cast’ things from your mobile devices (and desktop) to your TV screen. It launched a year ago without much notice and more or less resurrected Google’s media platform ambitions.
The device is also now more international than ever, with sales extending across 20 countries including the latest addition, Ireland, as of this writing. 30,000 stores now stock the Chromecast, too, in addition to its online availability through Google Play devices store. The app now has support for scores more apps than it did at launch, can mirror the screens of select Android devices, and has sold “millions” of units according to Google.
As for Chromecast apps, Google revealed that more than 6,000 developers have produced over 10,000 apps. However, the company only launched its Chromecast SDK back in February, so that number should continue to increase. And since no birthday would be complete without presents, Google is giving Chromecast owners a free 90-day trial subscription to its streaming music service Google Play Music All Access. That offer is redeemable through September.
Chromecast is becoming more and more of true streaming over-the-top device replacement thanks to lots of iteration and feature additions, but its special power of Casting from Android devices is being baked into Android TV means that the Chromecast could become a transition device as its features are rolled into third-party settop boxes, TV sets and other devices. If Android TV succeeds, users should be able to get their casting elsewhere. In the meantime, however, $35 remains an amazing price to pay for an accessory that does what Chromecast can do, especially given how keen Google seems to be on continuous improvement for the gadget. Read more about the story here.
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