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.
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 new feature’s rolling out slowly, and Google says not all users will see the option yet. To be in line to receive the new Cast option you have to be on Chrome 51. Then it’s just a matter of waiting for the update to roll out to you.
To check if you already have the feature, click on the “hamburger” menu icon (three vertical dots on a Mac) in the upper right corner of your browser window.
If you have it, 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.
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.