With the development kit fully open, the functionality of our Chromecasts seem to expand with each passing day. From a portable gaming system to your own personalized news station, our little gadgets have a lot going for them.
Today, we have another little gift from Google. At least, those of us with Android devices. Direct casting for web videos, specifically HTML5 videos in the Chrome Beta browser, is now available.
Grab the browser from from Google Play, if you haven't already.
Open it up, then type in "chrome://flags/#enable-cast" into the address bar.
This will take to to Chrome's flag page, where you can enable specific features that may not be ready for prime time quite yet. We're going to focus on the hidden casting functionality, which will be the first item on the flags page.
Toggle the functionality by tapping on "Enable", then relaunch the browser.
With the option enabled, you can cast videos from any site that utilizes the HTML5 protocol, including Flickr, The New York Times, TED Talks, YouTube, Vimeo, and more. Although YouTube was one of the first to allow Chromecast functionality, it did require you to use the app...now you won't have to.
To cast a video, simply make it full screen, then hit the cast button.
And not that you'd need it, since you're about to cast to an HDTV, but you can go ahead and flip your device to landscape and cast from there as well.
Remember, this is a new feature, and it's still a little buggy. Most videos loaded up fine, with YouTube working flawlessly. And some sites work better than others—NYT worked well but Vimeo was a little choppy.
Try it out for yourself and let us know how it goes, as well as what other sites you've found to work well.