back to article Google menaces Apple's 3-year-old toddler with its cheap stream tech

For years in PCs, Apple was the R&D lab for the entire industry, and Microsoft would roll out similar operating system features long after Apple users had them as standard. As a result, Microsoft users would get a feature late. It would also usually be offered in a less adventurous manner – and while sometimes it was weaker …

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  1. Shagbag

    Pull the other one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > For years in PCs, Apple was the R&D lab for the entire industry, and Microsoft would roll out similar operating system features long after Apple users had them as standard.

      Fanboy alert. Apple and Microsoft both borrow from each other, and that's a good thing. Although Apple does tend to be more stuck in their ways, sometimes refusing to borrow good ideas from Microsoft, such as window maximization, aero snap, being very late to the party even allowing you to resize windows in a sane manner.

      And if you were really paying attention, you would know that most of the innovation is coming from the Linux/BSD communities anyway, it's just that Apple love taking credit for "inventing" other people's inventions.

    2. Craigness

      So much wrong in the first few sentences! Can someone send the reporter back to school please? Needs to learn the history of tablets, phones, mp3 players and GUI interfaces. Also needs to use a Gingerbread Android device and see where Apple gets its ideas from.

    3. dave 93
      Meh

      "take your phone to your friend’s house, you can play your games"

      No you can't (unless they are web-based)

      AFAIK - Content from YouTube, Netfix, Google Play, and anything that will display in a Chrome browser window.

      No Angry Birds, Doodle Jump etc.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed.

      For every "Chromecast copied AppleTV", I can name 5 features Apple stole from Google.

      This is just lame ass hurt Apple fanboy writings...

  2. Ian 62

    Research...

    Apple offered a preview of the device in September 2006[1]

    So thats Google at the same point 7 years later than Apple.

    With improvements in tech, you'd expect them to be able to produce something that kicks the @rse out of the 7year old Apple product. And even still be better than the 3year old product.

    Frankly, it's a good thing. It's competition, which means innovation in price and features.

    The current AppleTV is good, but could be better. So hopefully this might inspire Apple to rev the hardware, or drop the price, or both. And then Google need to do the same to compete.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_TV

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Research...

      Can someone tell me why this post attracted downvotes ? Do people not want competition ?

      1. Kebablog

        Re: Research...

        Probably because he mentioned Apple in positive context, which is against site rules.

        (awaiting downvotes) :p

      2. Craigness
        Facepalm

        Re: Research...

        Downvotes because:

        It doesn't kick Chromecast's ass.

        It's not cross-platform.

        Microsoft beat it by 5 years with media Center. In the context of the article that's a huge fail!

      3. Robert Forsyth

        Re: Research...

        About 4 years after MythTV and 8 after VideoLAN

    2. Ian 62

      Re: Research...

      Re-write to please the downvotes.

      Apple sucks. Their stuff is ancient and they must have copied it from google all those years ago anyway.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Research...

      Apple's device is stand alone and much the better for it. Yes it's larger and more expensive but it's not 'expensive' and does so much more so much better.

      Get 'apps' on the Apple TV and it's a killer device.

      1. Mark .

        Re: Research...

        It doesn't even do applications? Yet another way their offering doesn't even compete with the various smart TV functionality already out there as standard.

        1. Craigness

          Re: Research...

          @Mark.

          It ONLY does applications!

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Research...

        > Apple's device is stand alone and much the better for it

        Every time someone says that the AppleTV is artificially crippled and lame, some fanboy chimes in and says "just use AirPlay".

        This Google product is just that concept take to it's logical extreme. Treat the AppleTV as nothing more than a wireless video transfer dongle and cut the price by 1/3rd.

    4. Mark .

      Re: Research...

      But they're not at the same point, it's cheaper and more cross-platform than even the latest Apple TV. If you're going to criticise Google for not getting it to us sooner, you might as well criticise Apple for not being better in that 7 years, or indeed anyone else (there are loads of people making TV streaming boxes, not just Apple, and most of them work with other manufacturer's products - not sure why Apple is getting all the mention, when their box was as much a fail as any other TV set-top box).

      And to borrow an expression, "It doesn't matter if they weren't first, Google'll be the first to popularise it".

    5. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Research...

      This isn't Chromecast vs AppleTV it's Chromecast vs AirPlay. Sure AppleTV may be 7 years old as you say but AirPlay has only been around since 2010. I suppose it is possible, albeit implausible, that Apple actually had AirPlay in the AppleTV and didn't mention it for the first four years.

  3. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Yes but can we hack it and install XBMC on it?

    1. Steve Evans

      Who knows, but as you can buy a RPi for £25 and install XMBC, why would you?

  4. Ian Bremner

    Might get my attention more if Netflix in the UK actually had any decent content on it.

    1. Steve Todd

      They've pulled the Netflix offer

      so that's something you don't have to worry about.

  5. Michael M

    "...and Google is offering three months of Netflix free with the device."

    It stopped that before the weekend.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it specifically need Chrome, I'll propably be stuffed

    Ever since Google descended into the gutter in their enthusiasm for Chrome and became a malware purveyor, I decided I don't really want that kind of software anywhere near me.

    Yes, Chrome is being punted like malware. I have had a couple of instances recently where an application installer decided to take it onto itself to ram Chrome down my throat with the usual scumware approach of having the "yes, I don't care how crap your offering is, install it anyway" box neatly pre-ticked.

    Anything (Foxit, are you listening?) that tries to perform an unnecessary, unwanted and totally irrelevant act on my property and is set to do so by default is malware. Pure and simple.

    Google used to have a mantra "Do no Evil". Now, putting their name to product being distributed like scumware and their latest trick of screwing around with GMail; launching tabbed inboxes without the common decency of asking first, I suggest the mantra should now read "We're Google. Screw You"

    1. Spiracle

      Re: If it specifically need Chrome, I'll propably be stuffed

      I should ask for your money back.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If it specifically need Chrome, I'll propably be stuffed

        Money - no. demographics, search history, advertising clicks and anything else they monetise - yes.

        What was your point?

    2. Philip Lewis
      FAIL

      Re: If it specifically need Chrome, I'll propably be stuffed

      Foxit did that during a "security patch update" without so much as a "by your leave, guv'ner". Just stuffed chrome browser on my machine.

      That is a criminal offence in Australia.

      But since when has google or it's evil minions cared about such things.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If it specifically need Chrome, I'll propably be stuffed

      It would probably be prudent blame the program itself. Foxit has been at this a while. It briefly changed your default search engine and added a toolbar for 'Ask' without even having a tick box to allow it.

      Chrome (Google) pays referral fees and the program makers try to solicit extra fees by hiding the install. But you really have to blame the software company that doesn't make it obvious.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paid muppets

    What is this muppet on about?

    Does he/she/it not know of all the devices that preceded the me-to from the fruit factory? Never heard of DLNA? WDTV? HTPC? Evidently not, since all we get is ill-informed spew from someone who probably hasn't even looked at the SDK page (too hard). Why are thereg bothering with running puff pieces from a know nothing agency ('frontline'?)

    Hey, if you want to run apple centric drivel, you could at least get the target right. This is targeted on the postulated 'iTV', by providing TV manufacturers a route to include google's streaming answer - cutting the legs out from apple at the same time as they chat with cable firms.

  8. Cliff

    what a load of old bollocks

    Apple the R&D powerhouse that everyone copied enviously? The first iPhone couldn't even send MMS four fox ache. Someone is on the cool aid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what a load of old bollocks

      and you couldn't take a screenshot on android till 4.0.

      1. Bodhi

        Re: what a load of old bollocks

        Screenshots worked fine on my Xperia S when it was on Gingerbread.

      2. Cliff

        Re: what a load of old bollocks

        And yet I managed to. I also used to take screenshots on my winmo 5 smartphone several years before the iPhone. My point is that it isn't R&D to take stuff other people already do (eg wifi) and give it a fancy name to convince fapples it's actually novel.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: what a load of old bollocks

        MMS is a little more integral to a phone than a bloody screenshot!

    2. Steve Todd
      Stop

      Re: what a load of old bollocks

      And MMS was so popular wasn't it? It wasn't a core feature and you could do the same thing (for less money) by sending an email.

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: what a load of old bollocks

        "And MMS was so popular wasn't it?"

        Dunno about popular, but I'm inclined to think that, being a method of communication, it's a more useful feature for mobile phones than being able to get screenshots.

        "It wasn't a core feature and you could do the same thing (for less money) by sending an email."

        Provided the sender and recipient both have email addresses. Not everyone does.

        1. Steve Todd
          Stop

          Re: what a load of old bollocks

          Do you see me complaining about Android and Screenshots? The point here is that when a new product comes out it will have gaps in its feature set. Providing those gaps aren't grievous (and if you can work around them) then early adopters generally won't mind.

          The lack of MMS was an issue pretty much only to Android fans. They'd scratch about for some unlikely use case and make like it was pretty much the only thing they did with their phone. MMS was expensive and only ever had a limited number of users. As its pretty much impossible to own a smart phone and NOT have an email address then you've suggested a pretty limited example once again.

          1. VinceH Silver badge

            Re: what a load of old bollocks

            "Do you see me complaining about Android and Screenshots?"

            It's hard to say, actually. El Reg's very limited threading doesn't actually tell me which post you replied to. Just because you only mentioned MMS and not screengrabs doesn't mean you weren't replying to, say, Bhodi's post defending your beloved phone-maker's inclusion of screen grabbing pointlessness over its lack of MMS. I assumed that was your angle; you're saying it wasn't. <shrugs>

            "The lack of MMS was an issue pretty much only to Android fans. They'd scratch about for some unlikely use case and make like it was pretty much the only thing they did with their phone."

            Remembering that the initial comment was that the first iPhone lacked MMS. That being in 2007. AFAICR Android was still in development at that point, with the first phone the public could buy being about a year later.

            I'm not saying it couldn't have already developed a fan-base by then; it could. I just thought it was pertinent to mention that point.

            (For the record, when the first iPhone came out, I was using Windows Mobile devices.)

            "MMS was expensive and only ever had a limited number of users. As its pretty much impossible to own a smart phone and NOT have an email address then you've suggested a pretty limited example once again."

            Wow. Just wow.

            Meanwhile, here in the real world not everyone has smartphones. And in 2007, when the first gen iPhone came out - remembering that the comment that started this discussion was the original iPhone's lack of MMS capability - even less people had smartphones than now.

            So it's not a pretty limited example at all - your dismissing it as such is just you either clutching at straws to defend your beloved Apple, or being rather a long way up your own jacksy.

            1. Steve Todd
              Stop

              Re: what a load of old bollocks

              As at least one party here would have to have an iPhone and the other party would need a dumb phone with MMS capability, no internet access and a pressing need to spend £1.50 on an MMS then yes, it's a limited scenario.

              For most people the lack of MMS was a non-issue. It was a minor feature that Apple hadn't got around to building in and not worth making a song and dance about.

              1. VinceH Silver badge

                Re: what a load of old bollocks

                "As at least one party here would have to have an iPhone and the other party would need a dumb phone with MMS capability, no internet access and a pressing need to spend £1.50 on an MMS then yes, it's a limited scenario."

                You're desperately trying to make it sound unlikely, but the truth is that MMS was around and in use - fairly widespread if my own experience is anything to go by (I'm not sure if I've ever sent one, by I know I've received plenty over the years).

                1. Steve Todd
                  Stop

                  Re: what a load of old bollocks

                  MMS was around and in use, but in nowhere near the numbers that SMS was. It wasn't something that most users bothered with, partly because of the cost and partly because you needed a camera phone to make use of them (and cameras were't a must-have feature back then). Keep screaming all you like, but MMS wasn't a killer feature that all phones MUST have, the very fact that the IPhone survived proved that.

                  The original iPhone was an incomplete product, but what it did it did pretty well. It was the first mobile phone I've used with a really good mobile web browser (which was how it was originally planned to run apps lest we forget, it wasn't like Apple forgot about them). It was also the first mobile to put touch together in a way that was natural and fluid to use.

                  1. VinceH Silver badge

                    Re: what a load of old bollocks

                    "MMS was around and in use, but in nowhere near the numbers that SMS was."

                    Since I never suggested it was used in numbers comparable to SMS, arguing that the numbers aren't comparable is introducing a strawman.

                    "It wasn't something that most users bothered with, partly because of the cost and partly because you needed a camera phone to make use of them (and cameras were't a must-have feature back then)."

                    Cameras may not have been a must-have feature, but they were certainly a fairly common feature of phones back then. Many models of phone lacked them, but there were plenty that incorporated them - and that means many users who could use them and who could be inclined to send them to others.

                    Just because you feel that it wasn't worth bothering with, doesn't mean "most users" felt the same way.

                    It doesn't seem too unreasonable to guess that the reason you feel this way about MMS is because of your choice of phone.

                    "Keep screaming all you like, but MMS wasn't a killer feature that all phones MUST have, the very fact that the IPhone survived proved that."

                    Well, no, actually, it does nothing of the sort. Mainly because nobody said it was a killer feature - that's another strawman - only that it was a fairly obvious feature that the iPhone lacked.

                    1. Steve Todd
                      Stop

                      Re: what a load of old bollocks

                      Apparently beating ideas into your skull with a large stick is what is required.

                      My point was and has always been that most users couldn't give a damn if the iPhone (or any other smart phone of the period) did MMS or not. It wasn't a popular feature. The numbers sent prove that. I owned MMS capable phones before the iPhone (various O2 XDA phones and the LG Viewty to name a few), and never used the feature. Making it out to be a hideous omission is beyond ridiculous. All manufacturers reach a view over which features are required and which they can leave 'till later when designing new devices. The lack of MMS in the iPhone was at best a minor annoyance rather than a fatal flaw, but the fandroid community like to make out that it was a basic feature that every phone should have had. Android also lacked many features when it first shipped, it seems to have survived the experience also.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: what a load of old bollocks

                        "Apparently beating ideas into your skull with a large stick is what is required."

                        Wow, someone doesn't agree with you and so they have to have your viewpoint beaten in to them!

                        It may be hyperbole, but it to feel that someone needs to have *your* ideas beaten in to them is somewhat ridiculous.

                      2. Craigness

                        Re: what a load of old bollocks

                        Airplay isn't widely used. I've sent MMS but never needed to stream anything to Apple hardware.

                        1. Steve Todd
                          FAIL

                          Re: what a load of old bollocks

                          AT&T, Apple's home market carrier, didn't support MMS on any phone so it absolutely wasn't needed in their most important market. They finally added it to their network at the point that Apple also added it to the 3G.

                          I'm still amazed that the Fandroids don't understand the basic concepts of software development. When you're building a system you prioritise features. As you approach deadlines low priority features get dropped. This isn't an opinion, it's the way that the world works.

                          The original iPhone didn't support Airplay either, it wasn't added until, IIRC, iOS 4, after MMS. You add features to subsequent releases. The point is not that no one need them, but that you cater to the majority of requirements first and add the outlying requirements when you have time and resources. Software is something you can update in the field at a later date (which is what happened), so holding dates is more important than making sure that every last feature is included.

                          1. VinceH Silver badge

                            Re: what a load of old bollocks

                            "AT&T, Apple's home market carrier, didn't support MMS on any phone so it absolutely wasn't needed in their most important market. They finally added it to their network at the point that Apple also added it to the 3G."

                            So why didn't you use this as the basis for your arguments from the outset, instead of nonsense that comes across as you not using/liking MMS so nobody else must use it?

                            "I'm still amazed that the Fandroids don't understand the basic concepts of software development."

                            I will repeat for the hard of thinking: My argument was simply that MMS was a useful feature to have on a mobile phone. If Apple had a good reason not to include it - which you've now suggested - then fair enough. But I never once said, suggested or hinted it was down to Apple's ability to finish the software (or not).

                            1. Steve Todd

                              Re: what a load of old bollocks

                              And my point was that ANY manufacturer can't put all the features they can think of into a new product. There isn't enough time (and normally capacity either). Apple didn't bother with MMS because it was of use to only a small proportion of their target audience. Fandroids seem to think this is somehow a grevious omission and like to point it's lack out as some sort of sign that Apple was somehow backward.

                              Google likewise skipped features from early Android versions. This is normal and trying to mock fans from the opposite camp for something that wasn't included in an early version (but is included now) is pointless and stupid.

                              1. VinceH Silver badge

                                Re: what a load of old bollocks

                                "And my point was that ANY manufacturer can't put all the features they can think of into a new product."

                                Looking back at your early posts in this thread, they make it very much look as though your original point was that MMS was pointless because (initially) people could use email, conveniently forgetting that not everyone has (let alone had in 2007) email.

                                How on Earth is that making the point that no "manufacturer can't put all the features they can think of into a new product" because I'm really struggling to see it.

                                1. Steve Todd

                                  Re: what a load of old bollocks

                                  Quoting from my second post in this thread :-

                                  "The lack of MMS was an issue pretty much only to Android fans. They'd scratch about for some unlikely use case and make like it was pretty much the only thing they did with their phone. MMS was expensive and only ever had a limited number of users."

                                  Did this make out that MMS was pointless? No, only that it didn't have a big audience and that there were work-arounds for most users. As such making it the major plank of an argument that the iPhone was backwards is a ridiculous line to take.

                                  1. VinceH Silver badge

                                    Re: what a load of old bollocks

                                    "Quoting from my second post in this thread :-"

                                    Yes, Steve. That was your second post, after you initially defended the lack of MMS on the basis that there was an alternative that everyone could use:

                                    "And MMS was so popular wasn't it? It wasn't a core feature and you could do the same thing (for less money) by sending an email."

                                    That very much does read as you suggesting MMS is pointless.

                                    1. VinceH Silver badge

                                      Re: what a load of old bollocks

                                      Just a minor clarification, I mean to say "...that there was an alternative that 'everyone' could use:"

                          2. Mark .

                            Re: what a load of old bollocks

                            The original claim that was disputed was about Apple leading the way in technology and everyone else following.

                            You're back-pedalling to "Well it had some good things, and some bad things too. That's to be expected for a product that's released after other products that have been around for a while." Not exactly leading the way is it - if they were leading, they'd have released it years earlier, before, not after other companies, and had plenty of time to add those features.

                      3. VinceH Silver badge

                        Re: what a load of old bollocks

                        "Apparently beating ideas into your skull with a large stick is what is required."

                        The basis for your "ideas" that need to be beaten into my skull seems to be what you do/don't do, what you like/don't like, and so on. That's more than a little bit arrogant.

                        It might also help if you didn't make questionable comments, or throw straw men into the mix.

                        Note, for example, how you're now suggesting I am (or, being generous, other contributors are) "making it out to be a hideous omission". I certainly haven't said or implied that; my argument has always been that it's a more useful feature than you are willing to admit (I came in pointing out that it's more useful, and indeed relevant, on a mobile phone than the ability to grab a screenshot).

                  2. Maharg
                    Paris Hilton

                    Re: what a load of old bollocks

                    I was sending MMS on a Sony T68 back in 2003, I know because I only just sent it off to a charity and had to delete all the pictures my girlfriend had sent me. It also had blue tooth, something that I couldn’t understand why 5 years later wasn’t on an iPhone, “how else am I supposed to send you this Paris Hilton GIF?”

                    1. Philip Lewis
                      Trollface

                      Re: what a load of old bollocks

                      aha, so you're the one!

                  3. imaginarynumber

                    Re: what a load of old bollocks

                    "The original iPhone was an incomplete product, but what it did it did pretty well. It was the first mobile phone I've used with a really good mobile web browser "

                    There in lies the problem. Because your first experience of something was on an iPhone it doesn't follow that Apple innovated first. The excellent tabbed Opera browser on WM predates the iPhone and could be used on phones with 3G.

                    Your suggestion that the continued sales of iPhones is proof that Apple were right to omit MMS is flawed, given that many of those early missing features were added later.

      2. Mark .

        Re: what a load of old bollocks

        Other things the original iphone couldn't do: 3G, apps, copy/paste. All things even older feature phones could do. The funny thing is, people like you at the time were arguing similarly that "But no one wants to do that" - looking back, it seems absurd now.

        On PAYG phones back then, sending an MMS could often be cheaper, and also meant the recipient didn't have to pay. On contract, both would be included in the contract.

        I'd still use MMS now. It saves you having to worry about if the person is checking email on their phone, something less common then, and even now, I wouldn't assume people check their email as often as text, even if I know they have a smartphone.

        (And as for the other comment from someone, that Android was late with some features isn't relevant, as no one would argue that Android was one of the first, or leading smartphones for that time period. When the first Android phones came out, people said it was a good new open platform to move to, but no one claimed it was revolutionary, or any of the absurd hype we got with a 2007 dumb phone that ended up being massively outsold by even just one model of Nokia smartphone.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: what a load of old bollocks

          Mtm (tm)

      3. imaginarynumber

        Re: what a load of old bollocks

        Re MMS.

        Ahhh... that's why the first iphone didn't have video recording, camera flash, 3rd party apps, GPS, 3G.

    3. sorry, what?
      WTF?

      Re: what a load of old bollocks

      And then there's the notification bar...

      The author of this article shouldn't say things like "this role has now been taken by Google and Android, and it doesn’t have to look too far from the Apple product line to see its next innovation" without actually checking some facts.

      In all honesty, it simply looks like all the big companies are copying each other AND the small innovators.

  9. Steve 13

    DLNA

    This device is not an attempt by google to replicate airplay, DLNA did that quite a few years ago.

    You could claim that the device was an attempt to replicate apple TV, except that this isn't a DLNA player or renderer, so it isn't replicating apple TV at all.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: DLNA

      I think this is Google's attempt to sweep away DLNA and AirPlay in favour of building programmability into the receiver based on emerging web standards — assuming Google's "everything must be approved by us before deployment" stance is temporary that will remove the gatekeeper from the process while allowing parties with content to control development and deployment cycles.

      Although a lot of TVs have very similar programmability built in, few of them are mutually compatible and most of them have an app store in the middle. If you're Amazon or whomever, you can't just write your mobile client and your web app and have the former instruct the TV to move to the latter.

    2. Vector

      Re: DLNA

      "You could claim that the device was an attempt to replicate apple TV, except that this isn't a DLNA player or renderer, so it isn't replicating apple TV at all."

      More than that, from what I've read at least, chromecast doesn't do any sort of screen mirroring, which, I suspect, is going to be it's downfall, since that's what many users will be expecting of it.

      ...and the chrome webpage thing doesn't count. That's just URL swiping from the client device. The content of the webpage is rendered locally by the dongle.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: DLNA

        "That's just URL swiping from the client device. The content of the webpage is rendered locally by the dongle."

        That can't be completely true as the demo seemed to show it maintaining session state?

      2. Craigness

        Re: DLNA

        Vector,

        The screen mirroring (it handles both tabs and full desktop) is the beta product whereas the casting of youtube, netflix etc is the main selling point (and is not in beta, contrary to the article). Mirroring is proper mirroring, the URL flinging is for the youtube/netflix functionality.

        1. Vector

          Re: DLNA

          I stand corrected. I haven't had the chance to play around with the thing. I'm still not sure that mirroring Chrome is going to meet most users expectations though.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really getting bored of this...

    ...is this about the 10th article about this?

    Am I the only one not getting even slightly excited by this.

    Seach for Andriod HDMI Dongle and you'll find MUCH better kit out there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really getting bored of this...

      Anything to get a few APPLE keywords out there - it must be worth real $$$s in ad spend ;)

      Reg is free to view remember.

  11. Irongut

    I stopped reading at

    "For years in PCs, Apple was the R&D lab for the entire industry"

    Should say for years Apple copied other companies in the IT industry and passed their innovations off as its own.

    1. FredBloggsY
      Thumb Up

      Re: I stopped reading at

      >I stopped reading at

      >"For years in PCs, Apple was the R&D lab for the entire industry"

      Spooky. Me too.

  12. Matthew 17

    $35 to watch YouTube on my telly....

    Why is this news?

    There's been a million devices to enable this feature for years, most tellies will do this out of the box anyway.

    The awesome quality of YT vids looks wonderful when stretched to 50" anyway.

    1. Craigness

      Re: $35 to watch YouTube on my telly....

      It's not just for Youtube, How can people still not know that?

  13. StevenN

    "So you can even flick your video content or YouTube or Netflix content at your TV screen, and still run a second browser tab with your private thoughts, your texts, your homework, Instagram, Facebook or anything else you want, which is NOT seen on the TV."

    This is nothing special and the AppleTV does this as well. It would be nice to see reporters actually verify things once in awhile before propagating halh truths.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      > This is nothing special and the AppleTV does this as well.

      Yes, that's the point of the article. It competes with ATV but at around 1/3 of the cost and in a very portable form-factor.

      I think its more like VLC running as a streaming server with a remote client than DLNA. You don't stream to it from the device with the GUI, you tell the dongle to go get the media itself. (If I understand correctly).

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF? Even as a MacBook Air user I presume the article was tongue in cheek.

    Microsoft following Apple on OS'es?

    GUI maybe (but even that was from the heist of the century when Jobs paid a pittance to steal the Xerox jewels and lived off it for years).

    For actual productivity stuff, though, they were ahead of the game only in the areas where BSD gave them an initial advantage.

    Apple make nice kit. However they innovate in marketing and little else (and I am not an Apple-basher given that I use the Air and a couple of Shuffles).

    1. Mark .

      Re: WTF? Even as a MacBook Air user I presume the article was tongue in cheek.

      I agree. Whilst MS may have often been behind in functionality, the problem is that back then, the "entire industry" had more platforms than MS and Apple. It's misleading to pretend that the platforms in the 80s and 90s were only the ones also around today.

      As someone on the Amiga in the early 90s, I was amused to see Apple users moaning they'd had Windows 95 a few years earlier, when the Amiga had a 32-bit OS with GUI 10 years earlier, and it pre-emptively multitasked, which classic MacOS never achieved (that platform had nothing to do with their current PCs that carry the "Mac" brandname).

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: WTF? Even as a MacBook Air user I presume the article was tongue in cheek.

        ... and as someone aware of OS/2 and exposed to the standard array of Acorn machines that filled UK schools in the late 80s through to the early 90s, I am amused to see Amiga owners moaning that they had pre-emptive multitasking a decade before 90% of the market given that they didn't have (i) built-in buttons, menus or any other widgets; (ii) protected memory; or (iii) any significant inter-app communications.

        It was a diverse mix back then — no single system ticked every box.

        1. Mark .

          Re: WTF? Even as a MacBook Air user I presume the article was tongue in cheek.

          "It was a diverse mix back then — no single system ticked every box."

          Yes that's exactly my point - sorry, I'm not clear what point you're trying to make by putting my argument back at me. The article makes the claim of Apple being "the R&D lab for the entire industry", with the implication of there being no competition other than MS. I point out another example of a system that was doing things better, nowhere do I claim that the Amiga instead led the entire industry. If you point out yet another example that did things better, that's in agreement with point point.

          If you're saying I'm moaning too for disagreeing with the article, then so are you for bringing up RiscOS...

          (As an aside though, the Amiga had excellent inter-application communication since OS 2.0, with the standardised AREXX scripting for example. Of course it had built in buttons, menus and other widgets. It didn't have any memory protection until recently, same as classic MacOS and DOS.)

    2. JEDIDIAH
      Devil

      Except you can never tell...

      > WTF? Even as a MacBook Air user I presume the article was tongue in cheek.

      Except you simply can't make that assumption. There are too many people that are perfectly serious when they start spouting ridiculous nonsense.

      There are just too many kooks out of there.

  15. dougal83

    Anyone here actually got Apple TV?

    No? Thought not. Revolutionary indeed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anyone here actually got Apple TV?

      I can see one from here connected to the TV in the office.

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Anyone here actually got Apple TV?

      I don't think they're selling very well at all. The Apple third quarter results press release (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2013/07/23Apple-Reports-Third-Quarter-Results.html) says this:

      The Company sold 31.2 million iPhones, a record for the June quarter, compared to 26 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 14.6 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 17 million in the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 3.8 million Macs, compared to 4 million in the year-ago quarter.

      The Apple TV isn't mentioned anywhere in the press release summary; one can therefore assume it's not significant to the larger report.

  16. Danny 5

    stopped reading

    right after "Apple invented all technology breaksthroughs and everyone else just copies".

    Really can't do better then that? I'm an Apple hater, but at least i respect the good things they've done. You're an Apple evangelist and should really stick with your cultist buddies.

  17. Semaj

    Meh

    Now I may be completely missing something because you lot (el Reg) seem to be doing a fair few articles on this thing but the only reaction I can summon of the Chromecast is "meh".

    I'd be much more interested in a wireless HDMI desktop streaming dongle for the same price, if anything cause it'd make working with projectors much easier.

    1. Craigness

      Re: Meh

      Chromecast is a dongle and it streams your desktop* wirelessly via HDMI. Is there something more specific you need?

      *Yes, it can stream the whole desktop - not just a Chrome tab.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Meh

      Double meh. I've read the article and about a hundred posts, and I still can't see what this gadget is for, nor why I should want one.

      Why would I want to see stuff from my phone on the TV screen? If I want to use NetFlix I'll get it over my broadband connection. How many films does it take to burn through a typical mobile data allowance?

      Is there some kind of content that's only available on phones? Anything else, I'll view on one of the computers in the house. If it absolutely has to be seen on a TV-size screen, and it's not available through the TV's internet connection, I can connect a computer to the TV.

      1. Robert Forsyth

        Re: Meh

        From some other Reg article, the dongle does the streaming by itself from your WiFi. The phone/tab/browser just tells it what to stream.

        This function was demonstrated many years ago, but then the dongle was the size of a (Linux) PC - now a Linux PC is matchbox size (e.g. Raspberry Pi). Even in the early 2000's some set-top-boxes allowed streaming from a server on a network.

      2. Mark .

        Re: Meh

        Presumably your phone can connect to your broadband via Wifi.[*]

        If you're saying you're happy viewing on a computer, then you're missing the point, which is to enable displaying content of the big living room TV. Most people like watching TV on their big TV, not on small computer screens. Yes, you can plug in a computer, but that's hassle - much easier to just click a button and do it wirelessly. Also means you can continue to remotely control it (or have to have cables trailing across the living room). As for TVs with internet connections, this is primarily intended for the millions of TVs without one, where replacing a big screen TV (or the numerous ones within a house) is expensive.

        [*] But then if you see no advantage in doing things without wires, perhaps you've yet to have a wifi network in your home...

      3. Craigness

        Re: Meh

        Kubla,

        You can't have read very much about this if you think it streams the videos from your phone! It streams from the internet, the phone just tells it what to stream.

        I've connected computers to the TV too; had them open on the floor plugged in to the TV's serial port and my amp. It's a really bad solution compared with a wireless stream which actually allows you to use your laptop for something else or turn it off completely...for the cost of a decent HDMI cable.

      4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        I've read the article and about a hundred posts, and I still can't see what this gadget is for,

        Non-technical users who just want to watch stuff "from the Internet" on their non-"smart" TVs.

        nor why I should want one.

        You shouldn't. Anyone who knows there are other solutions with additional features, and is comfortable using them, probably has little need for a Chromecast. It's for people who want to stream content from the Internet to the TV they already have, at as low a cost as possible - and cost includes the cognitive load and opportunity costs of learning about those options.

        It's also very cheap and very portable, which does make it useful for travelers, and potentially for things like showing presentations, displaying photos from storage sites like Flickr while visiting the Aged Parents, and so forth.

        If I had such a thing (and it's not likely I'd get one anytime soon, but I'd get one before I wasted money on a "smart TV" or a set-top box), I'd carry it around all the time with my keys and phone and such. Why not? It'll fit in a pocket. And then if I happen to be chatting with someone about a website or document or anything else that can be rendered in a browser window, we can pop it up on any HDMI-equipped set at hand. At home, in the office, in a hotel room, wherever. With no effort at all.

  18. Frankee Llonnygog

    The real innovation of Chromecast?

    The price point.

    I'm looking forward to a whole new round of competition.

  19. Peter Johnston 1

    We are hard wired to think of a new TV product as a set-top box, complete with yet another remote.

    But Google has distilled it down to what we really need - just a connection.

    I see this as a Trojan Horse.

    Companies will set up their TV service to work with this device.

    The next generation of TV will have it built in.

    Google will launch an app which allows you to use your tablet or phone as the remote.

    Soon no-one will watch traditional TV - it will all go through their Chromecast and stream from the net.

    Roll on the day.

    1. Jonathan 29

      Companies will set up their TV service to work with this device?

      I am not so sure TV companies will be helping Google take away their business any time soon. This project has been born from the relative failure of Google TV and their inability to sign up content partners.

  20. TomMariner

    Competition!

    Ya gotta love two innovation juggernauts competing on ... innovation. And fans yelling insults at each other in forums like these means a ready market where "early adopters" are not tiny numbers.

    It could be like most other products where finance guys cut better deals and marketing folks come up with clever names, colors and packaging. Yeah, that stuff is important, but for once 'Shoot the engineer and go to market" doesn't seem to win.

  21. Sporkinum

    Ads

    Seems to me it is one more way for Google to acquire more user information for advertising, NSA perusal, etc. At least with an HTPC, I am not going through their servers, at least not logged in. I enjoy my ad-free viewing.

    1. Craigness
      Happy

      Re: Ads

      Watch an ad-free service (eg netflix, youtube* or google play movies) if you don't want to see ads in the stream. In fact, that's exactly what you can do with chromecast!

      *I've never seen an ad when streaming youtube to my tv. Not sure why that's the case and I don't expect it to last. They have big plans for content on youtube, with rumours of subscription-based services but there might be ad-supported ones too.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How exactly has Google menaced Apple TV? Google had Google TV that they launched back in 2010 and looks at where that is now? Apple is at least still selling the Apple TV product. The fact is, both companies have learned a lot from their failures and they are still learning.

  23. VicOfTheYukon

    pc to appletv works fine

    I have used the program airparrot on my windows latop for a year now. Makes the appletv/airplay just another monitor. Works well.

  24. John-IT-Guru
    Linux

    Google Chromecast is the final nail in Microsoft's mobile coffin.

    This highly innovative and economical Google Chromecast device will indeed be the final nail in the Redmond coffin. This will ignite the already highly successful Android mobile devices sales.

    Microsoft simply cannot maintain their 98,000 head count without significant mobile market share thanks to the decline of PC Windows license sales. 55% percent from 2012 - 2013.

    By the way, the 2nd and only Microsoft cash cow "M$ Office" sales are completely tied to the number of Windows licenses sold.

    As you are aware, Microsoft's mobile devices launch was a come from behind hail mary that went into the ground and not into the arms of the receiver [i.e. the Consumers]

    No touch down with 1 second left on the clock.

    Game over for Microsoft mobile devices.

    Balmer has even admitted it was a total failure. But with 70 billion in cash reserves exclusively paid into its coffers by a forced monopoly many know as 'The accidental Empire", Balmer will not accept defeat. His ego will try to spend its way into mobiie market share, utilizing the past de facto mantra "If we polish a turd long enough it will turn into a diamond".

    What will be most intriguing is watching that 70 billion vanish due to Balmer's defiant arrogance.

    Sometimes when you miss the boat there is no second boat that arrives in time, especially when the monopoly evaporates due to competition!

    Apple will survive because they have already achieved significant mobile market share.

    1. Mark .

      Re: Google Chromecast is the final nail in Microsoft's mobile coffin.

      Not entirely sure what Chromecast will do to affect either Windows PCs or mobile devices. If anything, Chromecast keeps laptops in the living room, as they can be used to send content to the TV, rather than having it purely done through smart TVs or set-top boxes.

      "Apple will survive because they have already achieved significant mobile market share."

      Again, not sure what the mobile phone market has anything to do with Chromecast, but both WP and Iphone are niches compared to the dominant Android.

  25. Ubermik

    Considering that google also sells android to people who make 2gb ram, quadcore 1.5ghz cpu tv sticks with quadcore 500mhz GPUs, blue tooth and the ability to be controlled by a smartphone, tablet OR just a 2.4ghz mouse/keyboard or remote running full blown android 4.2 jellybean for £65 (which will plummet as theyre newish) or for around £35 a dual core version I cant quite grasp what all the fuss is about

    Basically google is fully aware of the full function, full internet, full android full power full fun TV sticks and TV boxes already available and then thought, "Hey lets take out nealy all of the flexibility and functionality of one of those devices and sell it at the same price"

    Fabulous!!!!!

    This IMO is like Microsoft making a huge fuss about launching the old original 733mhz cpu xbox with windows 98 to compete against quad core 3++ghz clone machines

    Some people are trying to shift focus to what it "might" be able to do in the future, but chances are this actual item will be about as much use as the early subscription only DVRs that wont even do a scheduled recording by themselves as not only will google themselves probably release a newer "better" version in about 9 months, but the already far superior cheap Chinese products will have much faster much higher specced newer versions out too no doubt with software that does anything the chromecast does that their TV sticks don't

    IMO this SHOULD just have been a full blown android TV stick with full internet access, games etc but branded by google but without their usual flaw of not including an SD memory card socket but as with the other nexus devices you would have the advantage of stock android which would be its "edge" even at a slightly higher price (but just slightly higher as the spec would almost definitely be lower)

    I think a Google branded 2GB ram/8GB flash/32 GB SD slot wifi and Bluetooth enabled TV stick running the latest stock version of the very latest Android with a quad core cortex A9/quad core GPU would be a smart TV killer

    Put the exact same hardware into an external media player box with USB sockets too for external hard drives/USB memory sticks and include Ethernet and not only do you also open up the world of smart TV to ANY TV (even older non HDMI ones) but you also have a complete home media server capability with gigabit streaming

    Any specialised softare could be written so its an app rather part of the OS so that owners wouldn't have the same problem with upgrading to new versions of the OS that mobile phone owners have with skinned versions

    And THEN you would have one hell of a world class product that would probably be being discussed in 20 years in micromart as one of their "retro hall of fame" type articles

    the current product though, just seems to ooze mediocrity IMO

    1. Craigness

      Some things work well on a tablet and others work well on a TV. So instead of looking at specs and functionality you should consider what people actually want to do with each device. For an app with a UI of any level of complexity (eg it requires text input or button presses) a TV interface is bad enough that people would choose a tablet instead. But for watching movies a TV is best, and if the button pressing can be moved to a more suitable device then all the better.

      So you can get an Android dongle and install a note-taking app from the play store, but what's the point? The netflix app is more suitable to the form factor but you'd have to type your login details, scroll through menus and select your content with the TV remote control. That's no better than current smart TVs. Using the netflix app on your tablet and watching the content on your TV is pretty much ideal.

  26. nixfix

    Streaming to TV

    Free apps have been paving the road in this space. Finally the big players are recognizing the value.

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