Chromecast, Google’s tiny gadget that plugs into your TV and allows you to stream video from the internet, is about to get a lot faster.
Google on Tuesday not only announced a totally redesigned version of the $US35 dongle, but a nifty update called Fast Play that will speed up Chromecasts.
Fast Play makes apps and video load faster on your TV, so you’re spending less time buffering and more time watching.
Fast Play works in two different ways.
When you open a streaming app on your phone that takes advantage of Fast Play and it detects a Chomecast on the Wi-Fi network, the Chromecast will preload the app so it’s ready on your TV quicker.
Google says that apps that use Fast Play load 80% faster than those that don’t.
Fast Play also gets actual video to your TV more quickly.
Some apps, like Netflix, have algorithms that predict what you want to watch. This allows them to download part of an episode of a TV show or movie before you actually tap play. Previously, Chromecast and whatever device you were using to control Chromecast didn’t talk to each other about what you were casting until you started casting it.
“By the time I scroll down and hit play, the video has already loaded,” Rishi Chandra, a vice president of product management at Google, said as he introduced the new feature during a press event. “No more buffering. It totally changes the streaming experience.”
Here’s the example Google showed at its press event Tuesday.
The new Chromecast also got upgraded Wi-Fi that Google says will provide a higher quality stream.
Google didn’t specify when the update would come to Chromecasts but said that developers will be able develop apps that take advantage of Fast Play “soon.”
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