So, we’ve had the Chromecast the better part of a week now. It’s interesting to see how easily it’s slipped in to every day usage. Want to watch a thing, load up on phone, cast to TV. In general, it still “just works”. We even had a few friends around (all with Android devices of varying ages) and the casting experience was seamless. They connect to the Wifi network, find the device, and then can cast content at will. So long as you’re happy in letting people on to your wifi network, it’s a winner.
We were pleasantly surprised to find a few simple party-type games as well. “Cards Against Humanity” has been increasing in popularity over the past few months, and its various online clones have been a good way to pass time with different online communities. “Dehumanize Your Friends” is another clone, but keeps player’s cards on their mobile screens and the topic on the TV. It’s responsive and well designed, and is pleasantly fun to play. Other developers have made relatively unsuccessful attempts to build real time games for the Chromecast, something it clearly wasn’t designed to do. But turn based games are superb, and I’d love to see more in the future.
On the media front, Chromecast still supports everything we discussed in the first post. But now we’re getting niggles for content we would like to see supported from mobile. All of following are castable from a browser tab – I’ve been watching “Dave Gorman’s Life Is Good(ish)” and Cat was listening to Cabin Pressure a few days ago, but this requires the use of a PC, something we want to move away from. Whilst BBC television programs are supported, the BBC iPlayer Radio app is missing any kind of support, and in this house we tend to listen to more radio programs in a week than we watch broadcast telly. Podcast support was another gripe until yesterday, but Doggcatcher updated their app with “beta” casting support, this worked quite well when I tried it. Beyond that, I’d like to see the Radioplayer app or TuneIn add casting support for live radio. Given iPlayer Radio, Podcasting and a few live stations, we would probably purchase a second Chromecast for use in the kitchen, attached only to speakers.
As for screen based content, the trifecta of Netflix, Plex and BBC iPlayer has kept us happy so far. I’d love to see support added for 4oD (Marvel: Agents of Shield and How I Met Your Mother), and Dave on Demand (Dave Gorman’s Modern Life Is Goodish, Dara O’Brien’s School of Hard Sums and Red Dwarf), but we can currently cast that content from a browser tab so it’s by no means a deal breaker.