Google just updated its audio-only dongle in a major way.
Chromecast Audio is a new $35 device from Google. It's all about streaming audio from online services over Wi-Fi to otherwise offline speakers, thus bringing the simplicity we loved about the original Chromecast to our until-now disconnected speakers. Pocket-lint's review will tell you more about it.
And today it's been updated to make it more comparable to Sonos, a smart speaker system that wirelessly streams all your Hi-Fi music to any room, or every room. You control your Sonos experience with one app. Well, thanks to a new software rollout, Chromecast Audio can pretty much do the same thing.
Google has given the hockey-puck-shaped device support for high-resolution audio. It supports up to 96KHz/24bit lossless audio playback, which is greater than CD quality. Go here to learn more about hi-res audio. Of course you'll still need high fidelity audio equipment/speakers in order for this feature to work.
Apart from hi-res audio, the Chromecast Audio now offers a multi-room feature, so you can fill every room, or wherever you have a Chromecast Audio connected, with synchronous tunes. It groups your dongles together so you can stream the same song to multiple speakers at once.
Sort of how you control Sonos through its app, you can use the Chromecast app for iOS or Android to create groups for your Chromecast Audio-connected speakers, and then those groups will appear as streaming options when you press the cast button in supported apps and streaming services.
These new features will arrive today as an automatic software update.