Meet the new and faster Chromecast


The new Chromecast is here. It’s a great way to make your TV smart, and it’s even faster than before.
Meet the new and faster Chromecast

When Chromecast arrived in the UK a couple of years ago, it was a big hit. Instead of going to the expense of buying a new TV or games console, we could simply use Chromecast to make our existing TV smarter.

And now a new and improved version of Chromecast is available.

We’ll tell you about this new version in just a second, but first of all, let’s take a quick Chromecast crash course to remind ourselves why it’s such a desirable dongle.

What is Chromecast?

Chromecast is a neat little dongle that plugs into the HDMI slot on the back of your TV, connects to your home Wi-Fi, and lets you watch whatever you’ve got on your smartphone.

It’s perfect for viewing the likes of Netflix, Now TV, BBC iPlayer and YouTube, but it’s more than just a smart TV device. You can also use it to play games, browse through family photos, blast out some tunes on Spotify… and basically use any app that’s on your phone. It’s compatible with iOS and Android devices, and also Windows laptops and Chromebooks.

Meet the new Chromecast

The new Chromecast is a lot better looking than the last version, and the design’s a bit smarter too. The old version’s rigid HDMI connection meant that it didn’t fit too well into some TVs, but the new version has a flexible HDMI cable, making it much more adaptable.

It’s not just about looks though. The new Chromecast comes with dual–band 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi support. In plain English, this makes it quicker than the original version, and reduces lag and buffering times.

How do I set up Chromecast?

Chromecast is a doddle to set up, and it takes just a couple of minutes. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the Chromecast app on your device, there’s only three more steps to get through:

1. Plug Chromecast into the back of your TV

2. Connect it to your Wi-Fi network using the app

3. Start casting from your phone, tablet or laptop

How does Chromecast work?

When you’re set up, you’ll notice that all the Chromecast-enabled apps and services will appear in the Chromecast app. Tap an app, select the Chromecast device you want to use, and your chosen content will be beamed to your TV.

If you’re worried about all this being a massive drain on your hard-working smartphone battery, don’t be. The thing to remember is that you’re not actually streaming content from your smartphone to Chromecast. Instead, your phone is simply telling the Chromecast dongle where the content can be accessed from. Chromecast then takes control of the playback, and frees your phone to do other things.

So even if you’re indulging in a 6-hour Breaking Bad session, you won’t miss any important phone calls or texts. And don’t worry - you’ll still be able to pause, fast-forward and control playback from your phone.

What we liked

Here’s a clever feature we liked a lot. If you search for a particular piece of content - ‘Daredevil’, for example - you’ll be given the option of selecting the awesome TV show, or the less than awesome movie version. Then when you make your choice, you’ll be given all the available viewing options. So if the movie is free on Netflix, Chromecast will let you know this money-saving fact, rather than directing you to the Google Play store. You’ll even be told if the content is available on an app that you haven’t installed yet.

What we didn’t like

There’s not much wrong with Chromecast, so we’re struggling to think about things we didn’t like. Maybe the fact that it doesn’t come with its own remote control will be an issue for some, but this was actually a big plus for us – we’d much rather be using our smartphone keyboard to quickly type a search term, than using a clunky old remote to scroll through the alphabet.

Where can I get the new Chromecast?

The new version of Chromecast is available online at Currys. And there’s a great Q&A video on their webpage if you’re looking for more information.

If you’ve got the old Chromecast, is it worth upgrading? That all depends on how happy you are with buffering times, and whether you’re having any issues with lagging. If you’re not 100% satisfied with its speed or performance, then you might appreciate the faster new version.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
If you want to expand the functionality of your Android device or add some brains to your TV, look n
Alongside the launch of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, Google has unveiled two new Chromecasts - one of
If you want to revive your old speakers and radios lying round the house, and turn them into Wi-Fi c

20 February, 2018
Airplay 2 is Apple’s multi-room control for your home audio set-up. It lets you use...
19 February, 2018
MWC 2018 is the world's biggest mobile tech show, and it starts in Barcelona 26 February....
16 February, 2018
We've got a handful of handy Snapchat tricks you didn't know about, to help you become...
15 February, 2018
Apply HomePod is the smart speaker and home assistant with Siri built-in. If you've...
13 February, 2018
Whatever your relationship status, we’re sharing the love with five apps to make...

9 February, 2018
We've got some great news for fans of role-playing games. Final Fantasy XV Pocket...
6 February, 2018
Android Oreo is Google's latest operating system, and it's rolling out to all the...
26 January, 2018
Samsung has posted a Tweet teasing details of its Barcelona Unpacked event, where...
19 January, 2018
Amazon Echo Spot is available to buy from our sister company, Currys PC World from...
12 January, 2018
Sony has announced a brand new mid-range smartphone called the Xperia XA2 at Las...
9 January, 2018
2018 may be young, but there's no time like the present to get going with your New...
17 November, 2017
Is Apple Pay Cash different to Apple Pay? We take a look at the new peer-to-peer...
12 November, 2017
Monqi is a unique version of Android, designed for children. Through an accompanying...
3 November, 2017
You should take your smartphone out on Bonfire Night. It'll help you stay safe and...
10 October, 2017
Amazon has well and truly established itself in the smart home, internet of things...
4 October, 2017
Google has just revealed its 2017 smartphones, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Both smartphones...
3 October, 2017
Experience that new phone feeling through the medium of smell with Carphone Warehouse's...