Chromecast update brings new look, easier casting

Chromecast has been updated for Android today, and rolls in a fresh new look and some exciting new functionality. Visually, Chromecast app owners will get that good, good Material Design makeover. Though there isn't much to the Chromecast app as-is, the visual punch comes just in time; Android Lollipop and Material Design are rolling out to handsets now, and will be coming to more soon enough. Using the app isn't just pretty, though — it's easier, as friends no longer have to join your WiFi to share to your Chromecast.

The Chromecast app now has an improved guest mode, which lets your friends and family share to your Chromecast without having to log-on to your WiFi. That will make those spontaneous bouts of casting much more appealing, and keep your WiFi open for other stuff.

Google's update comes at a time when streaming competition is fierce, and everyone has their own hardware/software combo. Chromecast edges the competition by relying on your smartphone apps to cast content to your TV via the dongle, leaving you without the need to learn an entirely new platform.

Chrome cast's new look and sharing feature is currently available for Android, so check for it if you've not received it yet. If you don't have a Chromecast, we hear Santa is giving them out like candy this year, so be sure to put one on your list.