Google's $35 Chromecast television devices are now available in Asia, Australia and more countries in Europe as Google expands the reach of the video-streaming dongles to more users around the world.
The expanded availability of Chromecast devices was announced by Suveer Kothari, director of Chromecast business development, in a May 28 post on the Google Chrome Blog.
"Whether it's gourmet cooks, international beauty gurus, or K-Pop superstars—if you're in Australia, Belgium, Japan, Korea, Portugal or Switzerland, you'll now be able to use Chromecast to bring your favorite content from a phone, tablet, or laptop to the TV," wrote Kothari. "These countries are home to some of the biggest fans of online content in the world, and the smartphone is one of the most popular ways for them to access it. For example, in Korea, more than 60 percent of YouTube views come from mobile devices. And in Australia, 90 percent of people switch between four devices every day. All these mobile content lovers will now be able to bridge the gap between their smartphone and the TV."
Customers in those countries should be able to purchase Chromecast devices immediately, wrote Kothari.
This is the second Chromecast market expansion so far in 2014. In March, Google announced that Chromecasts would be sold in Canada and 10 nations in Europe as the company began to expand the global reach of the low-cost video-streaming devices. The first 10 European nations that got Chromecast devices were Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Chromecast, which first went on sale in the United States in July 2013, is a phone- and tablet-controlled dongle that lets users plug Google into their television-viewing experiences. Chromecast plugs into the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) slot on an HDTV, enabling users to direct video content to the TV via a smartphone, tablet or PC, whether it's running an operating system from Google, Apple or Microsoft. Plus, while the phone is busy "casting," it can still be used for other things, like emailing.
Chromecast works with a continuously expanding assortment of services, including Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music. Content is broadcast from the cloud to the TV—a user's smartphone or tablet essentially becomes the remote control making this happen.
Google has been working to encourage more apps for Chromecast with the release of a Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK) in February 2014, which allows a wide range of innovative software creations to be inspired and built for the devices. The SDK is aimed at developers who want to build Chromecast support into their new and existing apps and Websites.
A list of all apps that work with Chromecast can be found at chromecast.com/apps.
In March 2014, Google unveiled a Chrome Experiments project aimed at Chromecast with its Photowall for Chromecast service, which lets users collaborate with their pals to display smartphone photos onto a TV to create custom slideshows.