Google announced on Wednesday a jump-drive-sized gadget called Chromecast that easily connects televisions to content on any mobile phone, tablet, or computer.
The gadget, which plugs into a television HDMI port, works with mobile apps to control video or other content on the television screen. A user can, for instance, pick out a YouTube video to play on her TV using her smartphone. She can also add more videos to a queue, pause, skip and adjust the volume using the phone like a remote. Additional users can join to add videos to the same queue.
Any mobile device can connect to Chromecast, though only with apps that have installed the "Cast" button. At launch, that's just Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music. A particularly impressive beta feature, however, will sling anything you can pull up in a Chrome web browser onto your T.V. set. (the T.V. is actually picking up the content from its own WiFi source), which means the options for using ChromeCast are as endless as the web.
Chromecast sells for $35 and goes on sale today at Bestbuy.com, Amazon.com, and the Google Play Store.