Ryan Michael Downey
The Google Chromecast has remained popular since its launch in the Summer of 2013. The item is so
inexpensive that many tech enthusiasts and even those trying streaming for the first time have been tempted give it a shot. But as people explore the device and its uses they ask a lot of the same questions. Does the Chromecast have its own apps? Is there an App Store? What else can I use on the Chromecast? Right now the Chromecast officially has 14 compatible mobile apps , apps launched from a smartphone or tablet, but many who purchased their Chromecast early are unaware of the new additions which include Vevo and Plex. There is a lot of competition for the living room right now and more on the way but Google can position itself from a place of strength without reinventing the wheel but by using tools and capabilities it already has in place.
Google Should Stop Ignoring its own Built in Ecosystem
Did you know that Google maintains an App Store designed for the Chrome browser? We are not talking about an internet based Google Play Store but actual apps designed to work on a laptop or desktop computer using the Google Chrome Browser. There are numerous video, audio and video game apps developed for the Google Chrome store that can be cast straight on to the TV screen. If these could be integrated to effectively to utilize the Tab Casting functions then it would open up a whole new world of applications for the TV screen that are not currently promoted for use on the Chromecast. The existing store could easily be linked in to the Google Cast browser extension much the same way that the settings and options are. From there users could browse apps made for Google Chrome add them and launch them using Google Cast. This would add a lot to the experience of those using Chrome itself with the Chromecast.
Use Chromecast App for Launching Storing and Downloading Mobile Apps
Chromecast has no native apps. As stated earlier there are 14 mobile apps already capable of pairing with the device and a wireless device and more will be on the way when they release the SDK (Software Development Kit) to the public and app developers. But where do you find them all? They are in the Play Store and in The IOS App Store. The only time one sees them gathered is when the Chromecast installed. When using a mobile device the browser opens a window with a list of compatible mobile apps to download. As of right now Google provides no one touch method for Chromecast users to check for new apps. A simple start would be for the already existing Chromecast App to have a permanent tab that linked all of the compatible apps in one place. This way users could check to see if there was something new the way say a Roku user can check for new channels in the channel store. Another helpful function would be for users to be able to launch the individual apps from the Chromecast app itself. This way there would be one place to go in order to add new apps and launch them in a more seamless manor.
Google Needs To Decide What The Chromecast Is
Right now the Chromecast considers using any application on a laptop outside of Netflix, YouTube and Google Play Movies/TV Shows as Beta features. There is also an “experimental” feature that allows screen mirroring. For an article on how that works click here. Does Google intend for the Chromecast to offer full screen mirroring or even mirror tabs from Google Chrome or would it prefer users concentrate solely on the mobile app features instead? Google has a chance to solidify itself as an inexpensive option to Apple TV and its mirroring feature. This little “dongle” has a chance to be a major player in the streaming marketplace, but as competition from Roku and others grows it risks coming off as an inexpensive gimmick.