There’s no denying the overall appeal of the new Chromecast at this point. Is it a perfect 10? No, but with a few tweaks here and there, it could get really, really close in the coming months. There are so many reasons this device is already such a better experience than the older versions of the Chromecast that came before it, but I stumbled upon a feature last night that absolutely put me over the top and anyone considering purchasing the new Chromecast with Google TV needs to be aware of it.
A better YouTube experience
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. You are kicking back to watch your favorite YouTube content when it hits you that this would be better enjoyed on the big screen, so you cast your video up to the TV. You enjoy the experience, get the gist of the content, and are ready to see what else is out there to consume. As the video wraps up, those lovely end cards come into view and you see another video from the same creator that is exactly what you’d like to check out next, but you have no way to get there! You are casting, after all, so there’s no way to select anything on the screen. You frantically try to remember the title of that tantalizing video before the video cuts off and then go back to your phone to try and locate it, but can’t remember what it was you were looking for. So, as we all do, you get distracted by a notification or another video, that fleeting excitement passes and you forget what it was you were doing in the first place.
Sound familiar? If so, the new Chromecast with Google TV has a trick up its sleeve for just such an occasion. I don’t know about you, but for me, the habit of slinging a YouTube video up to the big screen via the cast button isn’t going to stop just because my new Chromecast has a remote. I’ll still take full advantage of the new dongle’s ability to simply act as a Chromecast and nothing more. Good news, though: regardless of whether you begin playback from your phone or from the Chromecast’s built-in UI and remote, this little trick works for both and it is dead simple.
At the end of the video, simply click up on the remote and the video will pause where it is and allow you to move through the on-screen end cards and links. If you choose not to proceed, clicking back down resumes the video. If you choose to go to one of the linked videos, a simple click of the center button will take you there immediately. It is simple, but it is absolutely brilliant. And, I know, Android TV has likely done this for some time and other services may as well, but the humble Chromecast has never been capable of this trick, and it is honestly pretty amazing. Add it to the growing list of reasons this $49 dongle is becoming my absolute go-to recommendation for streaming media at this point.