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Google I/O 2015 Brings Chromecast Improvements and HBO Now

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The first day of the Google I/O Developer Conference in San Francisco, California, brought several online video-related announcements. One of the most celebrated is that HBO Now will be available to Android device users this summer. When HBO announced the service in March, it said that Apple would have it exclusively for mobile devices for three months. The service began operating an April, so expect it on Android in July. HBO Now will support Google Cast and Chromecast. HBO Now costs $14.99 per month and lets viewers subscribe to HBO without a pay TV subscription.

Speaking of Chromecast, it will gain important features in the near future. Google is adding autoplay support, so that content providers can queue up a second video while the first playing, then have it seamlessly start at the right time. Netflix subscribers have already seen this in action using other living room devices. Chromecast gaming will also improve, thanks to the Game Manager API, which supports multiplayer gaming, and Remote Display API, which lets games show different screens on a TV and a mobile devices.

Google has expanded its Cardboard VR program to include iOS support. iPhone owners can now download a free Cardboard for iOS app. Also, the redesigned Cardboard headset works with iPhones, including the iPhone 6 Plus. Google has created a page where those interested can buy a headset or get instructions on making their own. Google announced that 1 million Cardboard headsets have shipped so far.

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