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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$1600 Kickstarter campaign aims to turn Chromecast into multiplayer games console

In what must be one of the smallest Kickstarter campaigns ever, a team of British developers called Concept96 is seeking just £1000 ($1600) to turn Chromecast into a multiplayer games platform. The first planned app is a quiz game, described in the rather charmingly amateurish video above: Buzzb.

The target market is ‘casual gaming’ for those who wouldn’t spend the money to buy a conventional games console but would enjoy occasional games on a device they already own …  Read more

Chromecast now supports news, weather, & Google+ photos as a backdrop

Google today updated the Chromecast app for Android users adding a feature announced earlier this year at Google I/O called Backdrop. When the Chromecast HDMI streaming stick isn’t playing content like Netflix or Pandora Radio through your TV, it already displays the current time and featured photos as a screen saver, but now Chromecast users can display additional content like weather conditions and news headlines on Chromecast-connected TVs. Chromecast also now supports using your own photos from Google+ albums as the backdrop. Read more

Google offering new Chromecast buyers 2 free months of Hulu Plus

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When the Chromecast originally launched more than a year ago, early buyers were offered three free months of Netflix as a bonus. That offer quickly ran out, but various other deals have popped up since. Now, Google is giving anyone who buys a Chromecast from October 1st through the end of the year two free months of Hulu Plus.

Hulu Plus currently runs $7.99, meaning that you’re getting a $16 value with your Chromecast purchase. While Hulu may not have quite the selection of Netflix, that’s still a great offer when the Chromecast only costs $35 to begin with.

The offer will be redeemable through chromecast.com/offers during the set-up process for new Hulu Plus and Chromecast users beginning October 1st. Keep an eye on 9to5toys.com for the latest Chromecast deals, as well.

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Chromecast beta extension now supporting 1080p tab casting

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The latest build of the beta version of Google’s Cast Chrome extension is now serving up 1080p tab casting. Not a finished product, you’re likely to encounter a few bugs while using it, however it should help give an idea of what’s coming to it’s more refined counterpart. The recent update introduces more robust control options under a section marked “Custom mirroring settings.”

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Developers once again gain root access on Google Chromecast

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When Google’s $35 Chromecast was originally released, obtaining root access was incredibly easy. So easy that some users believed that it had been intentional on Google’s part, as to allow curious developers to explore the inner workings of the device a bit. Nevertheless, the vulnerability used in that root method was eventually closed. Now, however, developers once again have discovered another exploit that allows root access on the Chromecast.

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Report: YouTube Music Key is Google’s upcoming subscription service w/ concerts, remixes, free Play Music Key

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We’ve been hearing rumors of a YouTube streaming music service for quite a while, but now Android Police has published a report detailing Google’s streaming music plans. The report claims that Google will soon launch a new service called YouTube Music Key, as well as rebrand Google Play Music All Access to Google Play Music Key.

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Firefox for Android nightly builds gain Chromecast support

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A few months ago, reports started circulating that Mozilla was developing its own streaming stick to compete with the Chromecast. The device was reportedly going to be marketed as a more open alternative to Google’s offering, but despite these reports, Mozilla today added Chromcast support to its Firefox browser on Android. For the time being, you must be running the nightly build of Firefox to use it, however.

You can download the nightly build of Firefox for Android from this page. Once you get the APK installed, Mozilla offers a test video casting page for users to visit. If a Chromecast icon appears on that page and your device offers the ability to cast the video, then you’re good to go.

Download the Firefox nightly APK here to get going.

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Chromecast boasts 400 million casts as it celebrates its 1 year mark w/ 3 months of free Google Play Music All Access

Chromecast 1st birthday

Happy birthday, Chromecast! That’s what Google is saying today as it announced the HDMI media streaming stick has been used to cast content 400 million times in the 12 months since it launched. The Chromecast, of course, allows you to stream content from services like Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora to your HDTV from your Android or iOS as well as your computer via the Chrome browser.

We’ve added hundreds of your favorite apps, including WatchESPN, Pandora, Hulu Plus, HBO GO and PBS Kids; announced new features like mirroring your Android device to the TV and expanded to 30,000 stores across 20 countries.

That’s certainly a lot of casting from the $35 accessory, and Google is giving all Chromecast users 90 days of its Google Play Music All Access service for free to celebrate. The offer to redeem 3 months of free access to the $9.99/month music subscription service will run from today, July 24th, through September 30th, for all existing Chromecast customers not already subscribed to All Access. Read more

JW Player updated to version 6.9, brings Chromecast support to millions of sites

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In April of this year, it was announced that JW Player would soon be adding support for the Chromecast, and today the feature finally went live for everyone. For those unfamiliar, the JW Player platform powers a variety of popular websites including ESPN and millions of others. With today’s release of JW Player 6.9, it just got a whole lot easier to view web video on your TV.

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