Apple TV vs Chromecast - which comes out on top in the age of streaming?

What is the difference between Apple TV and Chromecast? Here are some factors you need to consider before picking one.

Chromecast with Google TV being used in living room with TV mounted to white wall
(Image credit: Google)

Apple TV and Chromecast are two of the most popular streaming devices around, and both offer a convenient way to watch content on the big screen. Using smart assistants like Google Assistant and Siri, as well as giving users access to all of the major apps, rentals from iTunes and Amazon Prime, and more, both are great choices that differ in some key ways.

In this guide, we will look at these differences, as well as what features and integrations make Chromecast and Apple TV the preferred choice, respectively. It's also useful to look at elements such as affordability, with each device catering to very different budgets.

Keep reading to see which device came out on top for us, and head over to our best streaming devices guide for more comparisons.

Apple TV vs Chromecast: Pricing

A premium streaming device, Apple TV has a higher price tag than competitors like Chromecast with Google TV, which costs $50. If you value affordability over brand loyalty, Chromecast is a great option, with comparable features and access to streaming apps, add-on content like rentals, and built-in smart assistants.

Even so, there are still some people who'll pay the higher price for Apple TV's extra features and benefits. Although both devices have most of the same streaming apps and add-on content, Apple's product integrates seamlessly with a wider ecosystem, such as streaming content from iTunes, talking to Siri, and more.

  • Verdict: The choice between Chromecast and Apple TV comes down to personal preferences and needs. If affordability is a top priority, Chromecast with Google TV is a great option that still offers an excellent streaming experience. While Apple TV costs more, it has premium features and seamless integration with Apple's ecosystem.

Apple TV 4K

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple TV vs Chromecast: Design

Apple TV has a sleek design that makes it a visually appealing addition to any home. With its black finish and rounded edges, as well as the minimalist remote, it blends in seamlessly with other technology.

Chromecast with Google TV, on the other hand, has a cylindrical device hanging from the HDMI plug. Chromecast comes in several pretty colors, like blue, pink, and white, and it's got a smooth texture and matte finish that's better than its predecessors.

In the streaming interface, Apple TV puts a lot of emphasis on Siri voice control, so you can find content hands-free. Google TV, on the other hand, uses its parent company's knowledge base to make detailed recommendations for TV shows and movies based on your preferences.

  • Verdict: For those who value sleekness and visual appeal, the Apple TV is a good choice, while for those who want more customization and recommendations, the Chromecast with Google TV is top-notch.

Apple TV 4K can give you notifications that someone is at your doorbell - provided you team it with the relevant HomeKit accessory

(Image credit: Apple TV 4K)

Apple TV vs Chromecast: Streaming experience

The Apple TV was designed as a streaming platform for a long time, while Chromecast was just a screen mirroring device. As Google now competes with the likes of Apple and Roku for the users' primary entertainment choice, the Chromecast with Google TV has changed that perception.

While some key apps aren't available in certain territories, Google TV's navigation and recommendation features are great, and they get more useful as time goes on. While Google TV does have its own VOD platform, it doesn't push users to buy content that's available elsewhere as part of a third-party subscription.

As a streaming service, Apple has a strong presence with Apple TV+, which has lots of quality content, including award-winning titles, as well as iTunes pay-per-view. It could be less convenient to use the streaming device if you don't get Apple TV+.

Since Apple rewards loyalty, the Apple TV expects you to use Siri and HomePod speakers as well. Google, on the other hand, has a broader reach with platforms like YouTube and works best for those familiar with Google Assistant. Apple matches Chromecast with AirPlay for screen mirroring technology.

  • Verdict: Ultimately, choosing Apple TV or Chromecast with Google TV depends on things like your favorite streaming services and devices. There are tons of different features and benefits in each device, so make sure you weigh them against your needs before buying.

Chromecast with Google TV in Sunrise

(Image credit: Google)

Apple TV vs Chromecast: Our verdict

While Apple TV has more of a solid reputation as a premium way to view and organize content, the newest Chromecast with Google TV gives it a run for its money at a third of the price. While Google's offering doesn't have the carrot on a stick of its own streaming service, it does have YouTube, Google Assistant, and search engine integration that makes its user experience second to none. 

Caroline Preece
Smart Homes Ecommerce Editor

Caroline is the smart home ecommerce editor for Livingetc, covering everything tech for the home, from smart speakers to air purifiers and everything in between. She is passionate about the role that technology and smart devices can play in daily life, enhancing the home without sacrificing personal style and carefully chosen interiors. In her spare time, she can be found tinkering with bulbs, soundbars, and video doorbells in an effort to automate every part of her small home. Previously, she lent her expertise to the likes of Expert Reviews, IT Pro, Coach, The Week, and more.