The Chromecast dongle just keeps getting better and better. Earlier this year, Google released a developer SDK for the device, opening the door to third-party apps and even games. In its latest update, Google has imbued the dongle with the ability to mirror the screen of any compatible Android phone or tablet:
Starting today, you can mirror your Android phone and tablet to the TV so you can see your favorite apps, photos or anything else, exactly as you see it on your mobile device—only bigger. To start mirroring, simply select "Cast Screen" from the navigation drawer in the Chromecast app and select your Chromecast device. On Nexus devices, this feature is also available through the quick settings menu.
The feature will be enabled on Samsung, HTC, LG phones and tablets "over the next few days," Google says. You'll also need to download version 1.7 of the official Chromecast app.
The Chromecast dongle can still be purchased from Google's Play store (and a handful of other e-tailers) for $35. It plugs into a TV's HDMI port and enables content streaming over Wi-Fi from just about any device, including Windows PCs, iDevices, and Chromebooks.
I've been using an Apple TV for my streaming needs since last year, but considering the price tag on this thing—and the stagnation of the Apple TV software—I might just have to pick one up.