Google’s Chromecast, current ruler of the ever-expanding streaming stick genre, added 10 more apps today to its growing collection in an effort to defend its title. New to the Chromecast family today are two apps that help the device flesh out its premium channel offerings, including Showtime Anytime and Starz, as well as a new round of games.
Showtime Anytime may be the biggest get for Google’s seminal streaming device, especially if you’re a cord-cutter. Showtime’s parent company, CBS, announced just last week that its premium channel will “fairly definitely” follow HBO next year as a stand-alone subscription offering, free from the bonds of satellite and cable subscriptions. The addition is one more way for those who have ditched traditional TV to get their fix of popular shows like Homeland, and the Chromecast is one the easiest, most affordable ways to get that content from the app to the big screen.
In addition to Showtime Anytime and Starz, Chromecast is adding a new wave of party games to the fold to keep the family occupied between streaming binges. The new list of games includes classics like Wheel of Fortune, Hasbro’s Monopoly Dash, Scrabble Blitz, Connect Four, Simon Swipe, quiz games Big Web Quiz, and Emoji Party, and the dance game Just Dance Now. Unlike most set top boxes, including Google’s new Nexus Player, Chromecast uses your phone as a controller, so anyone with an iOS or Android smartphone can get in on the gaming, perfect for those holiday get-togethers.
In addition, Google has added category tablets to its notoriously difficult to navigate Chromecast apps page, including TV & Movies, Music & Audio, Games, Sports, Photos & Videos, and others.
With Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick and Roku’s app-packed Streaming Stick flanking the Chromecast on both sides, along with new entrees like the Firefox OS-powered Matchstick, and Walmart’s new Vudu Spark, Google’s streaming stick has more reason than ever to fire up the after burners on app creation, and you can bet the tech titan will keep working to add more content in an effort to keep up with its rivals.