The next big thing from Google is Chromecast, a Google TV side product. You can listen to music, watch TV shows, movies and more on your mobile phone, tablet, computer or TV. It comes with Netflix and Pandora Radio as well as YouTube capabilities all built-in on the original product, all you have to do is plug Chromecast into your TV or computer and it will connect via wi-fi and "send videos and more from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to your TV with the press of a button," according the announcement from Google.
This looks like the Apple TV set-top box done up Google style. With the new Google TV coming at some point in the future, this could be the more affordable version of what Google offers for internet streaming of music and video. They've already tied it in nicely with Google's own Play Music and Play Movies & TV services, so this looks like something to get in on the Google media action as well as other players in the scene like Pandora Radio & Netflix as well. I'd imagine that Chromecast is being delivered with future expansion in mind ... as more partnerships happen with things like Hulu, Spotify or other streaming services could be added.
Apple is widely believed to be working on a high-end new Apple TV, that would be an HD TV with all of the services for music video (like Netflix and Pandora Radio) that's offered on the Apple TV set-top box. My theory is that Apple will offer the HD TV as their high-end device, and keep the set-top box as a low-cost way to get the same thing. With that in mind, it's easy to see the new Chromecast as a way for Google to offer the same kind of strategy -- a low-cost way to tap into the coming internet TV and music revolution with an affordable product, as well as a high-end HD TV to arrive at some point in the future.
Check out the four YouTube videos below to see Chromecast in action, and keep in mind ... the days of offering Android-only or Apple only products are behind us. Chromecast can be used with an iPhone or iPad as well.
Google Play Music | App | Pricing | Review
Google Music 4 App for Android Leaked
Google TV vs Apple TV: Where It's at Right Now
Pandora Radio | App | Download | Review | Pricing
Pandora Radio Moves Into FM Radio: Blame iTunes
Pandora Radio Expands To TV