- The best Chromecast apps for Google's streaming puck
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- Apps - Chromecast - Google
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The best Chromecast apps for Google's streaming puck
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But is the new Chromecast the best option to spend your money on? The third-gen Chromecast comes with a familiar hockey puck-like form factor, only now it is smoother and more refined. The new model ditches the glossy finish and flat sides for a smoother, matt-like finish with rounded edges. This comes in White or Black colours, although Flipkart currently sells it in Black only.
The smooth finish means you won't see ugly smudges or fingerprints on the device. The large Chrome logo has also been replaced with a small and simple 'G' that looks minimalistic and nice. But the design of the Chromecast will not matter much as it is likely to stay hidden behind your TV until the end of its life, or at least until you decide to upgrade.
It looks a lot more discreet compared to the FireTV Stick, which can sometimes stick out obnoxiously behind the TV due to its length. The cable is about 2-inch in length so it will most likely hang suspended from the TV.
… this isn't the forums?
I feel Google missed the boat here by not upgrading to a Type-C port, but it probably does not matter as much as you get a power adapter with the box. Setting up the new Chromecast is pretty simple if you have an iOS or Android smartphone. If your phone and the Chromecast are on the same Wi-Fi connection, you can tap the add button to finish setting up the device.
Once the Chromecast has finished setting up, you can simply go into an app and look out for the Cast option. Mostly every app supports the Cast feature, which means you should see the Cast button on most popular apps like Netflix, YouTube, Chrome and so on. The only exception is Amazon apps including Prime Video, and we will get to that in a bit.
So, once you open the app, just tap on the Cast button and you'll see it appear on the TV almost instantly. The Google Home app has been through a redesign and is much easier to use than before. You can see all Cast-supported apps that are on your phone in the Google Home app.
Apps - Chromecast - Google
There's a Discover section that will suggest apps you can download that support Chromecast. The Browse section suggests trending content that you can Cast via apps on your phone. While Google claims a performance bump of 15 per cent over the Chromecast, it's a bump that is hard to see. This is because the Chromecast itself is just a medium to connect what's on the phone to the TV. Chromecast does not have a menu or user interface to scroll through and search for content. Your smartphone or your laptop is the remote.
On the one hand, having no remote means you won't have to worry about losing it, but I've never really lost a remote so that convenience is kind of redundant.
What I do like about the Chromecast is that all searching of apps and content is done by typing on the phone or laptop, which is much easier than using a remote to manually search for something. But the drawbacks of having no remote are greater, in my opinion. For one thing, you will need to keep your phone with you at all times. And if your phone runs out of battery, you will not be able to control what you're watching.
If you're someone who prefers using the phone over a remote and don't need a dedicated user interface then the Chromecast is for you. Personally, I prefer having a remote as it makes the player feel like a complete product, which is why I would go for a Fire TV Stick over a Chromecast. Amazon's media player may not have an extremely intuitive UI, but it is more convenient to browse through TV shows and movies on a big TV rather than squint while browsing on the smartphone.
One thing about casting from the phone or laptop to the Chromecast is that it takes a second or two for the content to show up on the TV. The latency is not that pronounced and has probably improved from the model. Apart from this slight delay, casting is pretty smooth and seamless with no stutters or drops.
The new Chromecast only lets you stream in p resolution, which is probably okay for its price.