Chrome browser can soon cast content without Cast extension

JC Torres - Jan 13, 2016, 4:00am CST
Chrome browser can soon cast content without Cast extension

Web browsing was, in the beginning, a more personal activity, with users hogging the screen, reading web pages and viewing pictures of cats. As the Web embraced more types of content, it has expanded to become a social, or at least group, experience, from watching videos to giving presentations. It seems appropriate then that web browsers be able to display their content on some external screen or display. Google made that possible in Chrome via the Google Cast extension but soon the ability will come built into the web browser, no additional software needed.

By simply setting a flag in the beta version of the Chrome web browser, you can play around with this new feature. A word of caution, it disables the Google Cast extension if it is enabled and installed. No worries though, since you can just right-click on a web page to reveal the new “Cast …” menu option. Same functionality but without the added software.

This feature might be almost subtle but it could have tremendous significance to users, especially those who can’t install extension for one reason or another, like a locked down system or browser. It also makes the functionality available right out of the box instead of having to remember whether you have it installed already or not.

But the new feature goes beyond “casting” tabs, however, It is the product of a new Media Router that is a year in the making. It is part of Chrome engineers’ attempts to let Chrome display any type of content to external displays. For the initial implementation, it makes sense to start with what is already known to work, displaying the current tab content on a different screen. In the future, Chrome developers envision being able to render off-screen tabs and even the system desktop itself.

The Media Router feature is currently available only on the beta channel for Chrome, which will eventually land in the stable version, of course.

SOURCE: François Beaufort

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