Utopia 360° Elite Edition Virtual Reality Headset Review

VR is one of the booming new technologies at the moment, and there are products covering pretty much every budget.  The lowest budget options are literally just carboarded cutouts that you put your phone into, and for the price, they are quite effective. On the other end of the spectrum are the likes of the … Read more

Google disables touch-activated listening on Home Mini due to 25/7 recording issues

The Google Home Mini isn’t even being shipped yet, but one of the review samples sent to Artem Russakovskii from Android Authority had a serious bug with it that was recording sounds in his house 24/7. He noticed the bug because the device would flash its lights even if he hadn’t issued the OK Google … Read more

Google’s Launches Pixel Buds – Bluetooth Earbuds for Pixel 2

While I loathe the trend of ditching the 3.5mm jack, the most interesting product at Googles launch was their Pixel Buds, a pair of Bluetooth earbuds with a difference. It was inevitable they would release some earbuds if they ditched the 3.5mm, but thankfully the Pixel Buds look pretty good. These new earphones don’t just … Read more

Google announces Pixelbook convertible

  Google hasn’t released a tablet for a while now, and it looks like they may be giving up on Android in tablet form. Instead, they are focussing their efforts on the 2-in-1 market with the launch of the Pixelbook. Priced at from £999 it runs Chrome OS which can now run all your Android … Read more

Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL Announced

The heavily leaked and hotly anticipated Pixel 2 and 2XL have finally been announced. The 2 phones are actually made by different manufacturers the Pixel 2 was made by HTC and the Pixel 2 XL by LG but design wise they are very similar, just different sizes. The smaller Pixel uses an FHD (1920 x … Read more

Google Home Review

Google Home has finally landed in the UK after being available in America for the last few months. Does this smart speaker live up to the hype, and more importantly can it compete with Alexa? As most of you will be aware, Google Home is a small speaker with built-in microphones that can detect audio … Read more

Google Pixel and Pixel XL Announced: First Phone Built Completely by Google.

Google has made a big deal about the launch of their 2 new phones, the Pixel and Pixel XL. They have gone as far as saying people will be talking about this for years. In reality, I am not too sure about that, the only interesting thing so far seems to be that it is … Read more

Google Home Believed to be $130 at Launch. 4K Chromecast $70

We heard about Google Home at the annual I/O developer conference, it is basically a smart spear in direct competition to the Amazon Echo. It is a logical step for Google too, Goole Music is a big service for them, and Google Now is a voice assistant they have been pushing hard the past couple … Read more

Android Nougat Now Available for Nexus Devices

Android Nougat has now officially been launched on Google devices and the over the air rollout should slowly be happening now. Unfortunately, the Nexus 4 and 7 will not be receiving the new update. If you are too impatient you can manually install it via one of the images, or an easier method is to … Read more

Google is building two Android Wear smartwatches with Google Assistant integration

Android Police is reporting that they have a very reliable source claiming that Google is currently building two Android Wear devices – possibly Nexus-branded – for release sometime after the latest Nexus phones are announced. One watch will be larger, sportier, and more fully-featured (LTE, GPS, heart rate), the other will be smaller and lack … Read more

The Essential Guide to the Best Tablets of 2016

What is the best tablet? While prior generations asked themselves things like ‘what will the year 2000 be like?’, ‘how much are we actually going to use the Internet?’, and ‘will books become extinct?’, our generation’s biggest question revolves around the fight between Android and iOS. This, of course, is directly linked to the question … Read more

Google Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X Smartphones Announced

Google has officially unveiled its new Nexus range of phones. This year they come in 2 models, the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Both are available to pre-order now. Typically, Google uses one manufacturer for its yearly devices, but this year the Nexus 5X Is developed by LG which the 6P is developed by Huawei. … Read more

Google Chromecast Review

Googe released the Chromecast in the States several months ago acclaim. This diminutive device plugs directly into your TV HDMI socket which then allows you to stream media from a connected device such as a Android Phone or Laptop directly to the TV.

Unfortunately at the moment this device does not natively cast any content you want to the TV, but instead is restricted to certain applications including: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YourTube and Google Play movies. However software is gradually being released that is compatible with Chromecast and functionality should improve exponentially over the next few months.

Unlike other solutions such as Apple TV or Roku this device costs just £30 which makes it extremely affordable. We picked one up even though we had no real intention of using it frequently!

Set up is extremely easy, you just plug it into the HDMI socket and connect the power lead, if you TV has a powered USB socket this will do, alternatively you can use the plug adapter provided. You then search for the device with the Chromecast app and follow the set up instructions. It took a couple of minutes at the most for us.

Once set up using the stick is also a breeze. You just load up your Chromecast compatible app select what you want to play and then select it to play on your device, a few seconds later it should start playing on your TV.

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We mainly experimented with Netflix and found the experience extremely pleasant, it is a little slower than playing directly on your device and for the first 30 seconds or so it played at a low quality stream, but eventually everything cleared up and the image quality was excellent.

Functionality can be extended with applications such as AllCast which will allow you to stream media from other sources including a Plex Server, Dropbox and local files on your phone.

Media Browser is an app for iOS and Android that streams media content stored on any computer in the house, giving the Chromecast home theater PC  granting capabilities.

Unfortunately streaming from services other than iPlayer are nonexistent at the moment there is no Sky, 40D, ITV Player, BT Sport, Demand 5, Blinkbox, or Amazon Instant.  We some if not most of these will be available eventually however Amazon could be unlikely as they are rumoured to be releasing their own streaming device anytime soon.

Music is also lacking and we really hope that Spotify will be supported soon as it will be really useful.

Overall for the price there is a lot to like about Chromecast. If you have an old dumb TV then this can be an absolutely fantastic addition. If you have a new TV, then a lot of the Chromecast features will be made redundant, but at £30 we still feel it is a worthwhile investment as a backup device. As more compatible Apps are released this will become an absolute must have.

If you would like more information our friends over at Currys have an unboxing and in-depth review of the Google Chromecast

And you can buy the Google Chromecast here

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