Google has introduced a new, faster version of the Chromecast streaming dongle. The Chromecast 2.0 plays up to 1080p video, connects to Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4GHz/5Ghz), and comes with both HDMI and Micro-USB ports. The device supports multiple operating systems including Android 4.1, iOS 7.0, Mac OS X 10.7, and Windows 7 or higher versions of those systems.
The new Chromecast sells for $35 (with free shipping) and is available in three different colors: Black, Lemonade (yellow), and Coral (red). (Lemonade and Coral are exclusive to the Google Store.) But one might wonder…what is the point of having the device in optional colors if you won’t seem them anyway? The Google Store indicates purchases made today will leave the warehouse on Friday, October 2nd.
Google also introduced the new Chromecast Audio device for streaming music to speakers with a mini jack or adapter-to-mini jack. The device can be used with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, as well as Chromebook, Mac, and Windows laptops. The device works with apps such as Pandora, iHeartRadio and new partner Spotify, simply by pressing “Cast” on those applications.
The device supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4GHz/5Ghz), Micro-USB, and comes with a 3.5mm jack with analog and optical digital audio output. While hard-wired music sounds much better than streaming over-the-internet, the practicality of no wires should make this a nice device to have around. Chromecast Audio also sells for $35, and is available to purchase at the Google Store.
Google Play Music will offer a new six-member family plan that costs $15 per month.