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. Standard trials of the All Access music service usually only run for one month, so the Chromecast-All Access offer will save new subscribers $20 over the course of the trial. The Chromecast, of course, retails for relatively cheap at $35, and initial Chromecast buyers (like me!) were also rewarded with three free months of Netflix.
After a year of using the Chromecast (yes, I impulse purchased it on day one), the usefulness of the HDMI stick still holds up, especially after new functionality like access to even more channels and mirroring from Android devices has been added.
Finally, Google wraps up the birthday festivities with a recap of some new features announced earlier this year at Google I/O expected to ship soon to the Chromecast:
We’re not done yet. In the coming months, we’ll be making more updates, like the ability to allow others to cast to your TV without needing to be on the same WiFi network, and a customizable homescreen with personal photos or beautiful art. Your Chromecast will be automatically updated with these new features once they’re available.Happy birthday, Chromecast. Here’s to another great year ahead!