Native, extension-free casting is now available in Chrome 51.
As many of you are well aware, casting is not a new function and has been available via toolbar extension for some time.
As of Chrome 51, however, this functionality has become fully native and no longer requires the use of an extra extension. According to Google, the extension will still act as a shortcut to the same functionality as before. It is simply not a necessity any longer.
You can now simply click your 3-dot menu in the upper right hand corner and select ‘cast’ to begin your casting session.
In previous versions of the Google Cast toolbar icon, you could set options for resolution, bitrate, quality, etc. when mirroring the contents of your tab to your Google Cast device. These options have been removed, as the system now automatically adjusts quality, frame rate and resolution based upon your content and the quality of your network.
The new layout is way more intuitive as well. Once you click cast, you will see a list of devices and a drop-down to choose what you would like to cast.
Cast to a Hangout?
The last tidbit Google adds is:
Beginning with Chrome 51, you are able to mirror the contents of a Chrome tab into a Google Hangout. Here’s more on how to cast to Hangouts and Cloud Services from Chrome.
While I couldn’t get this to work (I couldn’t get a Hangout to appear on the list of things to cast to), we are very curious as to the implications that the ability to ‘cast to cloud services’ will have. As of this article, I’m not fully sure what this could be used for in the future, but I’m sure many of you reading this have some ideas.
We’d love to hear them below!