Google’s products seem to either go south and end up in the bin next year, like the Nexus Q or get so successful it is almost always out of stock for the first few months of release, like the Nexus 4.
The Chromecast is slotted momentarily into the Nexus 4 category, even though it is not out of stock in most places, Google has stopped offering free three months of Netflix with the purchase of the Chromecast.
Google seems to be pushing TV in a simple way, instead of offering a box with some Internet TV services and some cable TV services, they are offering the web, pushed onto your TV.
For people who have used SmartGlass or any other type of computer/mobile-to-TV technology, this is a newer and more refined version we always wanted. For $35, it has exploded onto the market, but is it an Apple TV killer?
Apple TV has had 17 million buyers so far, Chromecast may have had a few thousand to this date, but it will take time before Google can say they beat the Apple TV-box, if they ever do.
Google certainly has the form factor and with the ‘cast’ button allowing the user to add web-pages on the screen, it is possible to play any media on the web through the Chromecast, unless cable TV somehow restricts their content.
Without an actual user interface, it means it needs a third party device to work. Whether that is a mobile, tablet or laptop, the user will need to have this open to select content to ‘cast’ onto the TV.
While this does open the borders to viewing different content, which may not be available on the Apple TV or Roku service, it means the user has to do this and then watch, instead of clicking and watching on the TV.
Google has said as soon as you click the cast button it is sent into the cloud and then stacked with all your other content ready to be cast. This does break the barrier a little, but it is a little harder for regular users to understand how to cast content onto the TV.
In our view, Google offers a more simple approach for those with a little knowledge on how the Chromecast works, but the Apple TV offers the simpler package. Of course, the Chromecast is $65 cheaper than Apple TV.