The $35 Chromecast dongle launched by Google in mid-2013 was one of the best products from the company last year, thanks to its affordable price and digital content streaming features. The device, officially available only in the U.S. for now, will hit international markets later this year, with Google already working on adapting the product for new markets.
The company needed a month-and-a-half to two months to ramp production on in order to meet demand in the U.S., with the company experimenting with it and refining it after launch, while trying to keep the entire device simple and straightforward to use. “The team changed the manufacturing to make it clear that the USB end of the adapter goes into the power adapter, and added a narrow HDMI extender to accommodate televisions that didn’t have enough space around the HDMI port,” CNET reports. As for the user interaction, Google has it “down to a button,” Chromecast chief Mario Queiroz said.
Google is going to try to offer custom Chromecast experiences that would meet the users’ needs in other markets, although it’s not clear what apps the dongle will have pre-loaded when it launches in other countries. Furthermore, Queiroz told the publication that the Chromecast team is planning to stabilize the tab casting feature, which lets users cast a tab from the browser, and thus access additional content that may not be available natively on the Chromecast. The feature is apparently rather complex, as Google is trying to figure out “how to effectively buffer changes to the web page and ‘cast’ them to the TV.”
Another requested Chromecast feature is the casting of local content including videos, music and photos, Queiroz admitted. The Google Cast SDK, which is still unavailable to developers, should also be launched in the future, while Google will work with manufacturers to build more Chromecast hardware. Apparently, Queiroz is less concerned about additional Chromecast hardware than he is about expanding to other countries.
Actual international launch details for the Chromecast or pricing structure aren’t available yet.