Google's $35 Chromecast looks to set the streaming TV world ablaze with its cheap entry price and multi-platform compatibility. iOS users have every reason to check it out, but can Apple TV compete with the offering?
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Google’s Chromecast challenges Apple TV AirPlay, and it’s iOS compatible

chromecast

Along with a new Nexus tablet that could have Apple rethinking their iPad Mini strategy, Google has launched another product that steps onto Apple’s turf and says, “I dare you to come at me, bro.” The $35 Chromecast dongle plugs into any television’s HDMI port and streams content from your PC, smartphone, or tablet. And it’s platform agnostic.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because Chromecast accomplishes basically the same thing as Apple’s AirPlay — except for that part about being platform agnostic. Oh, and the cost of the device. Apple TV is a bit pricier than $35 (and Chromecast is even cheaper in the long run considering it comes with three free months of Netflix for new and existing subscribers).

At launch the device is rather limited in compatibility, but Google is making its SDK available for developers to bake into apps. Netflix is here now. Pandora support is right around the corner. It’s a simplified “internet TV” solution that anyone can afford and anyone can use.

In contrast, the latest reports suggest Apple TV is only about to get more expensive and more exclusive as Cupertino looks to ink deals with content providers and cable companies alike. Now we’re not saying Chromecast will ultimately win the next-gen television wars, but it’s a compelling example of how to make technology work for the user. Or it could just be the next Nexus Q.

At least iOS users will also be able to enjoy Chromecast as much as Android users, and it doesn’t sound like a bad device to keep in the arsenal. Especially for the price.

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  • RajCaj

    You can compare Chromecast to AirPlay, but not fair to compare it to AppleTV….which is sort of tricky becasue the only way to have AirPlay IS through AppleTV.
    Had Chromecast been baked in a GoogleTV device (which sounds like is in the works), THEN that would be a more fair comparison.
    In terms of comparing Chromecast to AirPlay….Chromecast is compatible for all devices that have the functionality built-in within the app, or if you’re able to run a Chrome browser, whereas AirPlay is for iOS & OSX devices only.
    It’s also nice that using Chromecast does NOT monopolize your device, since it seems the Chromcast device streams the content seperately from the device that sends it. AirPlay, on the otherhand, is a live video feed from the device to the AppleTV and operates on a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) methodology.