Google changed the name of its unbelievably successful Chromecast technology – again.
The search giant launched Chromecast back in 2013. It was a simple and inexpensive way to play any content from your Android device or Chrome browser on your TV. Simply fire up one of your favorite video or music apps, and it streams to the $35 HDMI dongle. Google recently branded Chromecast as Google Cast to acknowledge the growing ecosystem that developed out of the original device. It made sense to take the “Chrome” out of something that could be found in a growing selection of platforms and devices, many from 3rd parties.
Not entirely content with that, they renamed the companion Android app again, so Google Cast is now Google Home, to coincide with the launch of its smart home device. That also made a little sense, as the app would be a one stop shop to set up your smart home devices, not just the dongle. Your Chromecast, Chromecast Ultra, Chromecast Audio, Cast TV, speakers, and Google Home show up in one clean interface.
And now, they just changed the name of the Google Cast protocol to “Chromecast built-in”! So, is your head spinning yet?
No, this is not the end of the world, though some thoughts come to mind. Our first concern is that casual consumers may be confused with the changes in branding. Keeping Chrome in the name implies that the devices only work with Google’s browser. They – in fact – work with a wide variety of very good products, some of which are more Android than Chrome.
Google Cast (also known as Chromecast built-in) is the streaming protocol.
Chromecast is the line of streaming devices for audio and video.
Google Home is the setup app for all these devices. Oh, and it’s also the name of the in-home speaker hardware with Google Assistant.
As Google continue to expand on their successful line of hardware, and licenses out their technology to 3rd party manufacturers, let’s hope there is less confusion about what is called what.