The Mountain View, California-based multinational technology company showed off its latest invention as the holiday shopping season approaches.
In an attempt to win customers who embrace Amazon's Fire TV products and Roku, Google debuted the Chromecast with Google TV, which plugs into the back of a TV and comes with a remote. It's also compatible with more than 6,500 apps, including Netflix, HBO Max and YouTube, Google said in the post.
The feature is available in the U.S. for $49.99. By year’s end, it will be offered in other countries, the post stated.
Before this improvement, Chromecast users picked videos and movies to watch on their phones. But the feature lacked an on-screen menu of apps, TV shows and movies to choose from, CNBC reported. Google is betting this advance will help viewers discover more content and spend more time in front of the screen. The product represents a totally redesigned version of Android TV that was only available on third-party devices.
“To build this, we studied the different ways people discover media — from searching for a specific title to browsing by genre — and created an experience that helps you find what to watch,” Shalini Govil-Pai, senior director at Google TV wrote in the post. “We also made improvements to Google’s Knowledge Graph, which is part of how we better understand and organize your media into topics and genres, from movies about space travel to reality shows about cooking.”
Users can also ask Google to search for movies and TV shows.
Last December, Google introduced a new tool to allow users to add TV shows and movies to categories for things they’ve watched and want to watch. If the content is available on YouTube, there is a button that says "Watch Now" available next to the title. And if it’s in theaters, users have access to a link to buy tickets.
In March 2019, Google announced a game streaming service called Stadia that allows users to stream games from the internet to devices they own, as opposed to spending money on new game systems and other accessories.