The Apple TV has always been an excellent option for people already in the Apple ecosystem. The seamless integration that Apple offers is something that you can’t find elsewhere.
But, things are changing. Apple TV has partnered with most major TV manufacturers to make its best apps, like HomeKit, iTunes, and AirPlay, available to everyone.
At the same time, the complaints from tech enthusiasts still stand. Apple is too restrictive when it comes to streaming local content. Plus, there is no support for external storage or 3D gaming.
As an Apple enthusiast, that should make you wonder what else is out there. What does the world of Android TV, which is slowly evolving into Google TV, look like?
Guess What! Things Are Changing In The Android World Too
Chromecast is no longer a lonely little dongle. It has an accompanying remote. Also, you get features like 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby ATMOS. You can even use it to play games from the cloud and on a local device. Local storage and audio/video calls are also supported. Do you notice all the changes?
If you are looking for the best android tv box, we have had an undisputed champion for a very long time. NVIDIA Shield has been the preferred choice among tech experts since its release in 2019.
It is a very easy-to-use device and comes with Amazon Alexa and Google Home support. The only gripe has been its price. At $150, it was one of the most expensive options.
Priced at only $50, Chromecast is about to offer stiff competition.
Google launched Chromecast in 2013 and priced it at a mere $35. It has been an excellent option to play content from your mobile devices on the big screen. It kept things simple. It was nothing more than a wireless display adapter, not a media player.
Chromecast has evolved since its launch. Over the years, it added support for various Android apps. Also, it added 4K capabilities, and the latest version comes with a brand new user interface.
It is the new interface on Chromecast devices. Google TV acts as a skin on top of Android TV. The concept is similar to what Android phone makers do for their devices.
Google TV will start replacing Android TVs everywhere. Google TV is available as an app on Google Play and has replaced Play Movies and Play TV. All of this means is that it is capable of doing everything Android TV can do and much more.
How Does It Stack Up Against the Competition?
- A Firestick is pretty inexpensive. However, it doesn’t support native play or dongles. It also gives you Fire OS, which isn’t the best version of Android.
- There are a plethora of Chinese-made Android TV boxes. They look quite futuristic, but their software leaves a lot to be desired. After-sales support and spare parts aren’t readily available.
- TiVo Stream 4k comes closest in comparison to the new Chromecast. The pricing and hardware capabilities are similar to Chromecast. But it also comes with an older processor and worse software.
- Then there’s Nvidia Shield. It is quite capable. The AI up-scaling tech is an industry leader, not to mention the low latency gaming power. However, you could get three Chromecasts for that price. And that’s just the starting price.
The new Google TV user interface feels like Apple TV, Amazon, and Roku. It offers content by pooling it from various streaming services. You can jump into a movie directly from the home screen.
You can use Google’s voice assistant for all these functions. It will also teach Google about your content preferences.
Chromecast retains its old shape. But you get to choose from 3 different designs. And as mentioned before, it also comes with a remote. The port has been upgraded to USB C. That’s the port you will use for plugging in other supported.
These include an Ethernet adapter, as well as external storage. You can play video files and Blu-ray rips from a hard drive. You can also plug in a video camera for calls with a USB pass-through.
This is one aspect where the Chromecast might fall short. The 4 GB storage isn’t enough to load a lot of gaming content. The performance of the games isn’t the smoothest either. This, however, has a lot to do with the strength of your internet connection. Streaming games locally from the PC shouldn’t be a problem.
So, what do you think of the new Chromecast? A lot of the features that seem rather obvious to Android users might make your jaw drop. Do you still think purchasing an Apple TV makes a lot of sense?