Announcing the news on the official Chrome blog, Tomer Shekel, Product Manager, Google Cast for audio said, "We're announcing Google Cast for audio, which embeds the same technology behind Chromecast into speakers, sound bars, and A/V receivers. Just like Chromecast, simply tap the cast button in your favourite music or radio app on Android, iOS, or the web, and select a Google Cast Ready speaker to get the party started."
The blog detailed that the Google Cast-Ready speakers will pull content directly from the cloud. The official Google cast for audio page notes, "Google Cast streams your music directly from the cloud instead of from your phone so you won't lose any sound quality. No drops, stuttering or disruptions- just crystal clear sound exactly the way the artists intended."
Currently the number of apps that support Google cast for audio include Deezer, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, NPR One, Pandora, Rdio, and TuneIn. Google, however, promises that the list of apps will increase over the time. The company confirmed that the first Google Cast-Ready speaker will be available in the US starting spring. According to the Mountain View giant, some of the leading brands that are already onboard for Google's cast for audio program are Sony, LG, and HEOS by Denon.
"More brands coming later in 2015 with the support of chip makers Broadcom, Marvell, MediaTek and system integrator Libre Wireless. These products will join a growing Google Cast ecosystem, which includes more Android TVs, game consoles and set-top boxes," added the blog.
Google's new Cast for audio is definitely the company's answer to Apple's AirPlay, which also streams audio to AirPlay-enabled speakers.
The company also revealed that the Chromecast is now available in 27 countries and will expand to more countries this year. "Chromecast usage per device has increased by 60 percent since launch due to the growing roster of new apps and features," blog notes.