We think it’s got enough going for it to seriously give Apple TV a run for its money. Here’s five reasons why you should give Google your pocket money instead of Apple.
Chromecast costs £30. Apple TV costs around £90. Enough said.
2. Chromecast works with iOS and Android. Apple TV doesn’t.
Apple TV lets you stream content from iOS, OS X and Windows desktop devices. Chromecast lets you stream content from all of these, as well as Android phones and tablets, and Chromebook Pixels.
Owners of Windows Phone 8 phones will be left out in the cold either way, as currently neither system will work with phones like the Nokia Lumia 1020.
3. Chromecast is hidden. Apple TV is Just Another Box.
In this day and age we’ve got Sky+HD boxes, PlayStations, Freeview boxes, YouView boxes, Xboxes – Apple TV is yet another box to take up valuable living room real estate.
Granted, it’s not huge but it IS another piece of clutter to make our lives messier. Chromecast, by contrast, is a discreet little dongle that slots into an HDMI slot on the back of your TV. Out of sight, but never out of mind.
4. Chromecast’s set-up process is totally idiot proof
OK, setting up Apple TV doesn’t exactly require a degree in astrophysics. All you need to do is plug in the mains adapter, connect the box to a spare HDMI socket and then connect to your router, either via WiFi or Ethernet.
But Chromecast’s set up is even easier. Pop it straight into the HDMI socket, connect the mains adapter, configure WiFi. Done. That’s one step less than Apple TV, but as we argued in the previous point you’re also afforded the luxury of not having to feng shui the space beneath your TV.
If you somehow manage to screw this up then you probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the internet.
5. Chromecast’s half-mirroring is better suited to multi-tasking
Chromecast doesn’t let you fully mirror what you’re doing on your laptop’s screen. Instead, using the Chrome extension you can mirror a single tab in your browser.
This frees you up to do other things on your Windows or Mac machine while you’re showing off the latest doge/cat/fail video to your friends, or to share Google Docs with your colleagues in meetings.
It’s not perfect – right now there’s no audio on Silverlight streams and this aspect of Chromecast isn’t available on phone or tablet versions of Chrome.
We’ll be taking a closer look at the two systems, comparing what they offer in more detail later.