Google Cast is now integrated into Chrome, making it easier to stream content to Cast-aware devices.

After two years, the Google Cast protocol has shed its beta tag and is now fully integrated into Chrome. Google launched the Cast extension as a way of connecting Chromecasts and Cast-enabled Android TVs to Chrome, but with today's native integration you no longer need the extension to stream content from the browser to other devices.

Websites that support Google Cast — Netflix, YouTube, Plex, Google Play Movies and Music to name a few — now feature the Cast icon, allowing you to send content to your Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, or your Android TV with ease. Even if a website isn't Cast-ready, you have the ability to cast a particular tab or your entire desktop by heading into Chrome's settings. You can also stream the contents of your desktop to Hangouts.

The feature has existed in the dev builds and beta channel for some time now, with rollout commencing on the stable build in July. Now that the Cast option is fully integrated, all users running Chrome 52 and above can natively use the protocol to stream content.

How to cast to your Chromecast or Android TV from Chrome

  1. Navigate to the Chrome settings menu located in the right corner of the browser.
  2. Select the Cast button.

    How to use Google Cast in Chrome

  3. Select the Cast-aware device to which you want to cast content.
  4. If you want to cast a particular tab, click on the arrow next to the Cast to field.

    How to use Google Cast in Chrome

  5. Select Cast tab if you want to cast a single tab to your Chromecast device, or use Cast desktop to stream your entire desktop.
  6. Pick the Cast-aware device to which you want to cast content.

    How to use Google Cast in Chrome

There are a few features that don't work as of now. For instance, if you're trying to cast your desktop through Chrome on Mac or Chrome OS, you won't hear any audio:

Note that you can only cast your desktop audio from Windows. If you cast your desktop from a Mac or Chrome OS computer, you'll see the contents of your screen on your TV but won't be able to hear any audio from your computer.

You can also cast content quickly through the right-click context menu in Chrome. Just right-click anywhere on a tab and select the Cast option to start streaming content.

Google mentions that over 38 million casts have been sent from Chrome in the last month, with over 50 million hours of content streamed using the protocol. Do you use Google Cast to stream content to Chromecasts or Android TVs?