Google doles out free $20 Play credits to Chromecast owners

From 9to5Toys.com:
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Update (12/8 1:00pm): Target has Chromecast for $22.99. Redeem Google’s latest promo (below) to drop its effective price down to $2.99.

Google has just launched a new offer that extends a free $20 Google Play credit to anyone who purchases a Chromecast by December 21. According to the offer details, only Chromecasts purchased between December 7 and December 21 will be eligible for the free credit, but we were able to take advantage of it on our previously purchased Chromecasts.

You can check if you’re eligible for this promo by pointing your Chrome browser to chromecast.com/offers. The credit expires on January 31, 2016 and can be used on movies, music, apps, and other media. However, it can’t be used towards the purchase of any hardware. Only open to US residents.

Google Play, Amazon, and Best Buy are all promoting this offer for new Chromecast buyers.

At this point Google is pretty much paying you to own a Chromecast. Just recently, we’ve seen Google hand out free moviesHulu Plus and Play subscriptions.

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Chromecast cruises by Apple TV and nears Roku in latest home streaming market share numbers

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Google’s diminutive and cheap Chromecast is making strong headway against its competitors according to a report today by Parks Associates. Priced at $35 but now going for just over $20, the dongle, which is controlled by Apps on iOS and Android devices rather than a traditional remote has passed the almost forgotten Apple TV and is closing in on the king of streamers, the Roku.  Roku and AppleTV represented two thirds of the market last year but with entrants like Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV/Stick, the two dropped to around half the market.

The research finds Roku is still the leading brand with 29% of sales, but Google Chromecast (20%) has supplanted Apple TV (17%) in second place. New entrant Amazon Fire TV is in fourth place with 10%. Consumer content choices are also increasing, with Showtime and Sony planning to launch their own OTT video services to compete with Netflix and HBO.

“Nearly 50% of video content that U.S. consumers watch on a TV set is non-linear, up from 38% in 2010, and it is already the majority for people 18-44,” said Barbara Kraus, Director, Research, Parks Associates. “The market is changing rapidly to account for these new digital media habits. Roku now offers a streaming stick, and Amazon’s Fire TV streaming stick leaves Apple as the only top player without a stick product in the streaming media device category.”

Sticks are where it is at it would seem. Conversely, Google’s Nexus Player, introduced in October, has yet to make a blip but it might also show up in results next year.

Firefox for Android updated w/ Chromecast mirroring support, design refresh, more

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Firefox for Android received a major update this evening, bumping the app to version 34 and adding a handful of new features. Firstly, the update adds mirroring support for the Chromecast. This means that users can now mirror their browser to Google’s streaming stick. This feature was previously available in the beta build of Firebox for Android, but was incredibly buggy. Early reports say that the feature works as expected with today’s stable channel update, however.

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Best Cyber Monday discounts on Google products and accessories

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Our friends at 9to5Toys are busy excavating the Internet to find the latest Cyber Monday deals for any and everything and to help make things easier for you guys we’ve singled out some of the best Google deals that you’ll find on the web. Here’s a look at some of our favorite items currently on sale during this web-based holiday.

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Now Playing on Chromecast: Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street Go and more

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Google has just announced an expanded casting queue for Chromecast with the addition of seven news apps for streaming your favorite shows, sports, games and movies. The new arrivals this holiday season include Comedy Central, Sesame Street Go, Nickelodeon, EPIX, YuppTV and Encore, while TuneIn provides access to international radio stations and millions of podcasts. Read more

Google rolling out Chrome OS update w/ Chromecast support in Google Drive and more

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Google has started rolling out an update to the stable channel of Chrome OS with a handful of notable enhancements.  The biggest feature for Chrome OS users is the addition of Chromecast support for media files stored in Google Drive. This means that when viewing a media file in Google Drive, a Chromecast icon will appear, allowing users to easily and quickly beam that content to their TV.

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Showtime Anytime, Starz Play, and family-friendly games come to Chromecast

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Today, Google announced that a slew of new apps are coming to the Chromecast, bringing Google’s TV-connected dongle closer to the Apple TV and Roku in terms of the number of services it can stream. Part of today’s update are both Showtime Anytime ad Starz Play, two services that—like competitor HBO Go—offer a variety of premium movies and TV shows that you can’t find anywhere else.

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Google confirms that a second-generation Chromecast is on the way

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Google’s first Android TV device is less than a fortnight away, however the company’s current television-friendly hardware appears to be doing just fine. In a recent interview with GigaOM, Google VP of product management Mario Queiroz said that Chromecast users have tapped the cast button 650 million times, a significant increase from the 400 million figure shared at I/O back in June.

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Firefox for Android updated with Chromecast and Roku video streaming

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You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but what about a fox? Better yet, what about a Firefox? Cheesy introductions aside, today Mozilla announced a new video streaming feature for Firefox’s Android web browser. This Chrome alternative can now push videos from your mobile device to your TV via Google’s Chromecast media stick or a Roku set-top box.

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