I’m feeling bipolar toward the new Chromecast TV from Google. It’s an outside-the-box gadget that still manages to deliver the same old experience. It’s brilliant but backwards. It’s easy to use at times but a bit of a pain at others. I’m split; there’s a lot to like and plenty of room for improvement.
Chromecast TV is a small dongle that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port. Aside from the colorful dongle itself there’s a power cord (which is nice and long and comes with a velcro wrap for easy cord control) and a short HDMI cord.
Setup is an absolute breeze. Without reading any instructions, I was up and running within a couple of minutes. Once it’s plugged in, you download the Chromecast app (yes it works with iOS and iPhones) and follow the setup instructions. You’ll teach the Chromecast TV your home network’s password and that’s about it.
Heading into the Chromecast experience I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. In the past I had used the Apple TV and several Roku devices. Those devices were my reference point which meant I expected an interface with apps, search, games… you know, an experience of some sort.
But that’s not how the Chromecast works. It operates off of your device; as in completely off your device. In my case that meant an iPhone 6s. ...