Google rolls out new Chromecast; Sling TV app included

As predicted, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) introduced a newly redesigned Chromecast at its press event, with a sleeker form factor that it says will be easier to plug into TVs with crowded ports. It also has improved Wi-Fi capability, supporting the latest standards, and features an updated content discovery capability on the Chromecast app. Furthermore, the new device supports Sling TV.

Google also debuted Chromecast Audio, a device that plugs into existing speakers so users can stream music, podcasts and other audio-only files from their Android or iOS device to anywhere in the home.

The TV-compatible Chromecast will retail for the same price as the earlier version, at $35, while the audio device also retails for $35.

Google said that its redesigned Chromecast app will provide a new user experience. "We've also updated the Chromecast app to make it easier for you to find great things to watch or to play, across the thousands of apps that work with Chromecast -- whether you feel like browsing or want to search for a specific TV show or movie," said Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Android, Chromecast and Chrome OS in a blog post on Google's site. "For Cast-enabled apps that aren't already on your phone, we'll suggest one for you." The app will roll out on iOS and Android devices over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Sling TV announced that its service will finally be available on the new Chromecast device. "Chromecast has been one of our most requested devices since we first launched Sling TV in February. And today, I'm happy to officially announce that we plan to add Chromecast to Sling TV's supported device lineup in the coming weeks," said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV.

Once launched, Sling TV will work on users' Android or iOS smartphones and tablets. Windows and Mac PC capability is something Sling TV is "working on" for the near future.

For more:
- see Google's blog post
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Sling TV post

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