Google’s Chromecast Dongles Just Became a Lot More Useful

Courtesy Google

Google’s Chromecast dongles, which let people stream content from their mobile devices to their TVs, just became significantly more useful.

The company has now baked Cast functionality into its Chrome browser, making it easy to throw everything from photos to music to video from laptops and desktops to the TV screen.

Google (GOOG) recently said it had shipped 30 million of its Chromecast units, which plug into a TV’s HDMI port and have been outselling Apple’s (AAPL) rival device.

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The Google Cast functionality was already available to Chrome users via a browser extension, but is now a default feature in the browser itself.

In a Monday blog post, Google said its users cast 38 million times from Chrome during the last month.

As long as a website is integrated with Cast, an icon for the functionality should now pop up for Chrome’s billion-plus users. Even non-integrated websites should be viewable on the bigger screen through an option in the Chrome menu.

For more on Chrome, watch our video.

“Google Cast is now built fully into Chrome, and anyone can now Cast without having to install or configure anything,” Google product manager Stephen Konig wrote.

Konig added that it was also now possible to use the TV screen when making Google Hangouts video calls or using the Cast for Education app, which lets schoolkids share their screens in class.

Of course, the newfound ubiquity of the feature should also help Google sell a lot more of those dongles.

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