The Apple TV 2 is due later this year and its got Apple loyalists pretty excited. However, Google’s latest update to its iOS app for Chromecast has made Apple’s competitors streaming stick far more useful.

While the Apple TV (both the original and the new version) brings users a full interface with apps and content on screen, Chromecast keeps things a little more simple. The smaller stick-like device provided viewers with a pretty bare interface, and on the old iOS app, well, once your device has been paired with the TV, the app served virtually no purpose.

The original Chromecast device. It retains compatibility with the new app

The original Chromecast device. It retains compatibility with the new app

The key difference is that Apple gives users an interface to stream either via the Apple TV, or via a device using Airplay. Meanwhile Chromecast just gives users a way to stream content from devices to TV. When it comes to apps like Netflix, users could fire up the app on an iPhone of iPad, play a video, and tap the Chromecast icon on the player to stream it to a TV with a Chromecast stick plugged into a HDMI socket.

However, in the latest version of its app, which is now available for free on iTunes, users finally gain an interface with both content and app recommendations. Previously, it wasn’t an easy job to know what was compatible with Chromecast.

chromecast-screens

The new iOS Chromecast gains an interface, increasing its usefulness by a huge margin

As you can see from these screenshots, Chromecast for iOS will now show users content available on the compatible apps that you’ve already got installed, while another tab will give you recommendations of apps that can be used alongside the device.

While Chromecast may not be quite the all encompassing ecosystem that the new Apple TV will be, at least it now provides a fluid, and cheaper solution to Apple’s box for iOS users that don’t want to spend the money trading up. The recently announced Chromecast 2.0 (pictured in the main image) will retain its price of $35.

The update also supports the original Chromecast device pictured above.