Google Celebrates 5 Years of Chromecast

Posted on July 25, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Chrome OS, Chromebook, Google, Hardware, iOS, Mobile, Music + Videos, Smart Home with 8 Comments

This week marks the five-year anniversary of the release of the first Chromecast, Google’s low-cost streaming video solution. To commemorate the milestone, Google has provided an interesting peek at the impetus for this market redefining device.

“I said, okay, let’s build an interface where everything happens on the phone, and only the video plays on the large screen,” Google’s Majd Bakar recalls, noting that his wife, Carla, had complained about the difficulty of using connected TV interfaces back in 2008. “And let’s make the hardware device that enables this experience as small and as hidden as possible.”

When Bakar joined Google in 2011, he pitched his idea for Chromecast to his team, and the firm began work on it in 2012. Google eventually released the first Chromecast on July 24, 2013.

“I am very proud of the team,” Mr. Bakar added. “I feel lucky to be able to work on something like this—it’s very humbling to pitch something and see it from the beginning. When we started, we were three people, and now we have hundreds of people working on Chromecast and other hardware products for the home. That is a huge effort. We, as a team, made an impact in this space.”

I wasn’t personally a big fan of Chromecast, and I still feel that this device’s biggest weakness is the lack of a hardware remote; it can be a bit tedious to wake up a phone to pause a video when the phone rings or whatever. But I’ve warmed to Chromecast over the years. And with the platform extending into both audio and 4K video, I now have Chromecasts all over my house. Plus I often use the casting capabilities in Google Home speakers as well.


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