Chromecast Audio - like a Chromecast that doesn't do video
Alongside its fancy new Chromecast, Google has announced a Chromecast just for music: Chromecast Audio.
Covered with grooves that Google says make it look like a tiny vinyl record, and which we say make it look like a regular-sized licorice sweet, this simple £30 audio streamer turns any speaker into a smartphone-controlled Spotify machine. Or a Google Play Music machine, if you like. But probably Spotify.
Battery-friendly smart streaming
The Chromecast can connect to any speaker with standard RCA inputs, 3.5mm jack or optical digital
As with the Chromecasts now dangling from the back of over 20 million TVs, it's an extremely simple device. It gets power via a micro-USB socket (there's a wall charger in the box), connect your speakers using 3.5mm jack, stereo RCA or optical digital, go into Spotify, TuneIn or Google Play Music - other audio apps to be announced soon - then tap the Cast button, pick your speaker and play to it.
The Chromecast Audio works just like its video cousin, meaning your phone doesn't actually stream to the device but tells it what to play from the cloud. Meaning it won't barf your phone's electricity out in a stream of hot Bluetooth, and calls and notifications won't interrupt your enjoyment of that Rick Wakeman keyboard solo.