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Google launches new Chromecast, introduces Chromecast Audio

Google's new Chromecast

Google’s new-look Chromecast device

Google has launched an updated version of its Chromecast video streaming device, along with a Chromecast Audio device for music and audio streaming.

Google said that the second-generation Chromecast video streaming device supports the latest Wi-Fi standards and adapts more easily to changing home WiFi conditions, “so you get higher quality video with less buffering.”

The updated device, which has been redesigned from an HDMI dongle into a round puck-shape with an attached HDMI cable, will also be “easier to plug into TVs with crowded ports” according to Google.

Chromecast Audio is designed to plug into users’ home speakers so that they can stream music, radio and podcasts over WiFi and is compatible with services including Spotify, Pandora and Google Play Music. Both devices are priced at £30 in the UK and US$35 in the US.

“We’re also introducing an easier way to find what to watch through the redesigned Chromecast app. Now you can go to a single place to browse or search content from across apps you already use,” said Google.

The new Chromecast app is available on Android devices now and is due to roll out to iOS in the coming weeks.

The new Chromecast lets users stream 1080p HD video with surround sound, supports 2.4/5 GHz WiFi and has an adaptive antenna system built in. “It keeps video resolution high and buffering low,” claimed Google.

The firm has also updated Google Photos, adding Chromecast support so that users can customise their TV screen with images. “When you’re not casting, you can turn your TV screen into a beautiful backdrop of images.”

At the same time Google announced two new Nexus phones and what it claims is the first Android tablet “built end-to-end by Google.”

The Nexus 6P is the first all-metal-body Nexus phone, built in collaboration with Huawei, while the Nexus 5X is an update to the Nexus 5 and is made in partnership with LG. Both phones feature a 12.3-megapixel camera and will be priced from £449 and £339 respectively in the UK.

The Pixel C tablet can be attached magnetically to a keyboard – so that users can switch between touch-screen applications and typing – and is a descendant of the Chromebook Pixel. The tablet is be available in time for Christmas with pricing yet to be announced.