Google today announced Google Cast is now built right into Chrome, allowing anyone using the company’s browser to cast content to supported devices without having to install or configure anything. The Google Cast extension for Chrome, which launched in July 2013, is no longer required for casting.
In March, the Google Chromecast app was rebranded as just Google Cast. Google made the change to clarify that the casting option is available to more than just Chromecast devices, and indeed this integration is compatible with more than just Google dongles.
Here’s how it works. When you browse websites that are integrated with Cast, Chrome will now show you a Cast icon as long as you’re on the same network as a Cast device. With a couple of clicks, you can view the website content on your TV, listen to music on your speakers, and so on. In fact, Google today also integrated Hangouts with Google Cast: Signed-in users on Chrome 52 or higher can now use the “Cast…” menu item from Chrome to share the contents of a browser tab or their entire desktop into a Hangout.
Google started rolling out this new built-in Cast option with Chrome 51 last month. Now the Cast option is available to all users with Chrome 52 and above — put another way, the rollout is complete.
According to a support document shared at the time, removing the aforementioned Chrome extension is optional. It’s presumably going away soon, but Google didn’t explicitly say that. Chrome also lets you access Google Cast functionality by right-clicking on a webpage.
For all the ways you can now use Google Cast with Chrome, check out the new support document. Again, all that you need is to make sure you have the latest version of Chrome installed on your computer.
Google today also shared that in the past month, Chrome users have casted more than 38 million times, watching and listening to more than 50 million hours of content. Expect that number to grow steadily now that all of Chrome’s massive userbase has access to the functionality without an extension.