Google bakes Chromecast support directly into Chrome

Google is finally adding a built-in option to Cast open tabs to your Chromecast-enabled television.

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Google’s Chromecast is almost three years years old, but the company’s only now getting around to building Cast support directly into Chrome for PCs and Macs.

Update: Google recently announced that the Cast feature is now live for all Chrome users.

Google recently updated a help page for Chrome that says users on Chrome 51 will soon see a Cast option in their menu options. In addition, Google’s adding the ability show the contents of a Chrome tab in a Google Hangout.

The change means you no longer need to have the Cast extension installed to send open tabs from the browser to a television. However, the extension will still work if you want to use it as a quick access option instead of digging around in the menu.


The Cast option in Chrome 51 for Mac.

To activate the feature, click on the “hamburger” menu icon (three vertical dots on a Mac) in the upper right corner of your browser window. The Cast option will be sitting between “Print” and “Find” in the dropdown menu. You will also be able to Cast by right-clicking on a tab and selecting the option from the context menu.

Websites that integrate Google's screen-sharing functionality will add a discrete Cast button to applicable media.

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Google's Play Store website directly integrates Cast functionality.

Sharing a tab in Hangouts works the same way with the built-in Cast feature. Google has a rundown of how to Cast to a Hangout on its help pages.

The impact on you at home: If you still want to use the extension to Cast open tabs to your browser keep in mind that its behavior will change. Once the new built-in Cast option rolls out, you’ll lose the ability to manually adjust the resolution and bit-rate. The new built-in Cast feature will handle all of those settings automatically.

Editor's note: This article originally published on 7/5/2016, but was updated when the feature rolled out to all Chrome users.

This story, "Google bakes Chromecast support directly into Chrome" was originally published by PCWorld.