Complete with a convenient virtual remote control
Last year, Google finally turned the Chromecast into a full-fledged streaming box, with an all-new interface and a dedicated remote for navigating menus and apps. Of course, millions of old-fashioned Chromecasts are still plugged into the backs of televisions. With a new update, Google is making YouTube work more like an actual app – a major change in how these receivers usually work.
The company announced the change on Twitter today, highlighting an improved method for browsing subscriptions or recommended videos. Rather than showing a generic splash screen, the classic TV-friendly user interface for YouTube is now displayed. Since these Chromecast devices don’t have a physical remote, the YouTube app automatically switches to a virtual D-pad so you can browse videos and playlists. It also supports TV remote controls via HDMI-CEC.
This is a big improvement over the classic method of selecting and delivering content. While it’s only limited to one app at the moment, you have to wonder if Google is considering letting other streaming services like Netflix or Hulu add their own user interfaces as well. While the latest unit with Google TV has proven to be a success, many third-generation Chromecasts and Chromecast Ultra gadgets are still used regularly by consumers, especially as the company has continued to distribute 4K dongles with them. Stadia kits.
If you’re using a first or second generation Chromecast, you’ll have to make do with the classic streaming interface. However, for anyone with a slightly newer model, you can delay upgrading to the Google TV version a little longer.
Available now for some users
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