1 Year in: Google has Sold “Millions” of Chromecasts, Gives Away Free Google Music to Celebrate

Today, Google is celebrating the birthday of Chromecast by announcing a handful of stats to show how popular their HDMI streaming dongle has become. At $35, the Chromecast is still one of the best values in tech, as it allows you to take all sorts of media and “cast” it directly to almost any screen. It is a fantastic tool.

According to Google, they have sold “millions” of Chromecast devices in this first year, have tracked more than 400 million casts, and are selling the device in 20 countries and 30,000 stores across the globe. I don’t know that any of us saw this dongle becoming such a big seller, but like I just mentioned, there is incredible value there. It was sold out for months on Amazon and Google Play when initially launched before Google could catch up to demand. One year in, I would say that Chromecast has been a surprise success.  (more…)

Google Music Update 5.6.1608P Moves “Downloaded Only” Toggle to Slideout Menu

A new update to Google Music is rolling out today as build 5.6.1608P. The update isn’t massive by any means, but does include a couple of tweaks here and there to the layout.

First, in the slideout navigation menu, you will see a new toggle for “Downloaded Only” music, which is a way for Google Music to only show the music that you have stored on-device. This option used to be tucked inside of a drop-down menu at the top of the app, a menu that is now gone completely. The app now shows a “Downloaded Only” text bar when the option has been toggled, as well. Finally, in playlists, the “pin” button seems to have been swapped out for a “download” icon.  (more…)

Tip: Do a Google Search for Artists, Tap Quick Links to Apps to Listen to Them

If you are looking for one of the quickest ways to listen to your favorite artists, Google has you covered. A simple Google Search for the artist name will bring up not only information, images, and news for that artist, but there will also be a list of apps on your device capable of playing that artist immediately. Tap your favorite music  service, and bam, you are taken to the artist page or list of results within the app to get you listening away.

As you can see from my screenshots, apps like YouTube and Google Music were both listed, but other services like iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Rdio should also be supported.

Give it a try, if you are in the US.  (more…)

Google Play Music Update to 5.5.1509O Includes Playlist Editing, Sharing

Google slipped in one last Wednesday update, last night, to Google Music. The update itself is pretty minor, but does include two new playlist options that I can imagine more than a few of you have been asking for. Once updated, you can both edit and share playlists. And that’s it, as far as we know, since Google takes ages before it updates any of its “What’s New” sections on Google Play listings.

The update should be rolling out to most already, but if it is not showing in your list of updates, you can grab the APK below.

Any good playlists you want to share?  (more…)