Google is best known as the world's most-used search engine, but it's also a hardware company, not unlike Apple. In fact, just days after Apple rolled out its new iPhones and iPad, Google yesterday took the stage. It unveiled a really cool new version of its TV streaming device, and introduced a new audio device (more on that in a minute).
The new Chromecast is a round disk with a cable that you stick into your TV's HDMI port. (The original Chromecast, a thumb-drive-style stick you inserted into your TV's HDMI port, debuted two years ago and has already sold 20 million units.)
The new Chromecast is enticing, at that includes for its incredible price, just $35. For that, you can stream 200,000 TV shows and movies, plus music and games, from your Mac or Windows computer, or your Apple iOS and Google Android tablet or smartphone, to your TV set.
It works wirelessly to cast, or send streaming content from your device to your TV. Suddenly, you can turn your regular TV set into a streaming device to watch content from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Showtime Anytime, Watch ESPN, MLB.TV, and others.
With Chromecast, you can also stream music from Pandora and other sites, and games like an upcoming Angry Birds specifically created for Chromecast. Plus, you can stream your own videos and photos to your TV.
There's a Chromecast app for Apple and Android devices, so you can turn your smartphone into your TV's remote control. (Watch the video below, to see how you cast your streaming content from your smartphone to your TV set.)
While Google is better known for the software and apps it develops, with its updated Chromecast, its hardware is showy, like Apple's. Chromecast now comes in three colors, black, bright yellow and red.
Meantime, Google also rolled out a new piece of cool looking hardware called Chromecast Audio. It looks like Chromecast for your TV set, but Audio plugs into your home audio system, whether it's a stereo or your TV's surround-sound system, so you can stream music from the Internet to your in-home system. It's also $35.