Though initially not much of a fan of the Google Chromecast (OK, that’s putting it lightly — I basically found it useless), the streaming dongle has been a staple of my home entertainment system for over a year now.
Today, Google unveiled the Chromecast 2 — an updated version of the device for 2015. While version 2 is light on additional features, Google has included a built-in HDMI cable (for those with tight space behind their TV sets) and upgraded WiFi connectivity to a duel-band 2.4GHz/5GHz 802.11ac.
While the Twittersphere has mostly commented on the shape of the Chomecast 2 — which now resembles the Chrome logo instead of a USB stick — the biggest announcement today comes in the form of a revamped app for iOS and Android devices. The new Chromecast app will pull in viewing options available from supported media apps on your device, giving users a centralized location in which to select and play their favorite content. iOS users can find the updated app in the App Store as of yesterday evening.
Along with the Chromecast 2 came a music version of the streaming device, called Chromecast Audio. The product can be plugged directly into existing sound systems via 3.5mm, RCA, or optical audio out as an additional audio source.
Both the Chromecast Audio & Chromecast 2 will also support Spotify for the first time. Google has not messed with the low price-point of their streaming devices, as both will retail for $35.
The Chromecast 2 comes in three colors — Black, Lemonade, and Coral — and can be purchased now from the Google Play store. Chromecast Audio is also available for purchase today, though color is limited to black.