Chrome browser has a new ‘Cast’ feature in the drop-down menu

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Chrome Cast

Image Credit: Android Police

Soon, and even as early as Chrome 51, the world’s leading browser will feature a new Cast. The component will now come baked right into the popular browser made by Google. It means you will no longer have to download and install the Cast toolbar like in previous versions.

“Google Cast functionality is now built in as part of the Chrome browser itself, so you no longer need to install the Google Cast toolbar icon in order to use your Google Cast device from Chrome,” wrote the Google Support website.

Does this imply that the Google Cast toolbar will no longer be available? On the contrary, Google said that the toolbar will still be available for download; just that the Cast feature will now be baked right into Chrome 51. On Chrome 51, the Cast feature will now be available in the browser options menu. It will feature in a dropdown menu as an option just as it is shown in the image below.

Google Cast

Google also made some other changes to the browser. The settings options for quality of the streaming has experienced some tweaks. Cast can now automatically change the settings depending on the kind of content as well as the quality of the network. Until now, users were expected to manually configure the bitrate, resolution and other settings. The downside to this is that you won’t be able to adjust the settings manually. “These options have been removed, as the system now automatically adjusts quality, frame rate and resolution based upon your content and the quality of your network.”

Users are also getting additional feature in terms of the ability to cast to cloud services such as Hangouts. The additional feature will enable you to cast to Hangouts from your Chrome browser. This option shows you a scheduled Hangouts, including Hangouts the user is involved in. Though, this feature only supports the Hangouts, Google is still working on adding more cloud services in the future.

The feature (casting directly to Hangouts) was first reported by the Android Police in 2015, with some users reporting at that time that they were able to cast to video Hangouts. At the time, the feature wasn’t made available to every user; but one user did confirm it and gave a feedback.

I have this working (though buggy) in Chrome OS v52. My workplace uses Hangouts for our meetings. If I choose the Cast option in the menu it finds meetings in my calendar and lets me share my tab or desktop to the hangout. It’s similar to screensharing in a Hangout but there’s no audio transmitted. One use case is if you’re in a room set up with a Chromebox for Meetings and want to share your screen with everyone, without having to join the Hangout”

To access the new features, you will need the new version of Chrome as well as sign in to the browser.

Google Hangouts replaced Gmail Video chats, and allows users to reach out to others on desktop, Android and iOS devices.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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