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Chromecast is getting a big update and perhaps a successor

For a couple of years now, Google’s Chromecast has been an excellent and affordable ways to turn a dumb television into a smart one, but Google thinks its about time that the $35 streaming stick got an update. Not a hardware update, but a software update that will give the device much more support and functionality, although there are plenty of rumors that a successor to the Chromecast is in the works as well. With more than 17 million sold to date, that seems likely. 

The $35 Chromecast has been on the market since July 2013, and it’s still one of the best devices you can plug into your television. Now Google aims to make it even better with updates designed to boost binge watching and multiplayer gaming. At the Google I/O developer conference, the company announced new tools that enable auto-queueing of videos—letting apps roll from one clip right into the next—and allow developers to support multiple devices connecting to a single Chromecast for multi-player games. Here’s how they work. Up to this point, watching videos using Chromecast has been a one-and-done kind of experience. Users select and fling videos to the TV, one at a time. Google wants its streaming stick to evolve, but without losing the simplicity that helped vault it to the top of the sales charts. The new auto-queueing feature seems to fit the bill. Users still fling (or “cast”) videos from their mobiles to their televisions, but the software now automatically lines up the next video in a playlist, buffering it while the first one is still playing. Users might even be able to manage their queues and reorder the videos, if the app developer supports that detailed level of control.

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