On the Apple side, AirPlay is a way to wirelessly stream audio to speakers hooked up to your home wifi, or stream video to your Apple TV.
In 2013 Google released the Chromecast. A USB-sized dongle that transforms your old TV into a smart media hub. Similarly to Apple TV, this allows the user to stream video content to their living room TV.
Google Cast Audio hopes to expand this idea of ‘casting’ to the speaker world. At CES 2015 the world was introduced to Google’s newest bit of tech. Hoped to launch later this year, you will soon be able to cast you music from your Android, iOS and the Chrome browser to wifi connected speakers. There is a full list of supported apps on the Google Cast site, included are NPR One, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Rdio, Songza, TuneIn, BeyondPod, Google Play Music and Deezer. No word yet on Spotify, but they will likely join the party before release.
The technology works in a similar way to the Chromecast, where the mobile device simply works as a remote. Rather than sending music from your phone to the speakers, the tracks streamed will come directly from the source (e.g. Google Play Music server) to the speaker, saving your precious battery life.
Much like Apple AirPlay, speaker manufacturers must be on board before the technology will work. Google have been partnering with Denon, Sony and LG, with more to be announced more as time goes on.
Except to see the first connected speakers to arrive this Spring in the US. For more info, visit Google Cast Audio.
“Today we’re introducing Google Cast for audio, which uses the same technology as Chromecast to cast your favorite audio entertainment from your mobile device to your speakers. Simply tap the cast button in your favorite music app on Android, iOS or the web, and select your Google Cast Ready speaker.”