Google created not only a device, but also a feature that could be used by other platforms. Chromecast offers smart TV-like streaming without all the fuss and complications. Simply cast from your smartphone to your TV – that is the promise Google Cast offers, all available from a $35 dongle. What if you want more?
Google announced Android TV devices will come with full Google Cast capabilities, but the project is still young and we have yet to see it grow. Today’s new Google Cast features will surely keep pushing Chromecast and Google Cast to its on-going victory, though.
This has been one of the most requested features for the Chromecast. The ability to mirror an Android device via Google Cast seems like an obvious addition, but it didn’t come to Google’s HDMI dongle until today.
Google finally announced mirroring to Chromecast and Cast devices will soon be possible via the Chromecast app. Users will be able to access and start a mirroring session from there.I must say I didn’t expect mirroring to work so well, either. Latency and lag were nearly unnoticeable in the demo! I don’t get to say this often, but I am glad Google took its time with this feature. They did well.
Android mirroring will be rolling out in the “coming weeks”, with popular Samsung, LG and HTC devices being first in line. Others will follow soon afterwards.
Cast without a WiFi connection
Mirroring was one of those features we always wanted and expected, but once in a while we see companies announcing features we didn’t even think possible. We will soon be able to Cast content without being connected to any WiFi network. Being connected to the same network as the Google Cast-enabled device has been a solid requirement so far.
It really seems like some form of wizardry. Users don’t need to do much to access Chromecast without a WiFi connection. Simply tap the Chromecast button and select “Nearby Devices”. Chromecast’s APIs allow it to know which devices are in the room, allowing outside users to fully control Chromecast from the cloud.
If the Chromecast can’t authorize the device, for any reason, it will ask for a PIN number, which will be displayed in the TV display. And of course, the owner will also be able to control who can and can’t cast to the big screen.
Customize Chromecast screensaver
Chromecast serves as one of the best screensavers your TV can have. The UI displays a growing series of images, from some of the best photographers in the world. You may want to make it a little more personal, though, and now Chromecast allows you to customize your Chromecast slideshow.
You will simply access the Chromecast app and select which kinds of photos you would like to see. You can choose between Art, Places, Lifestyle, Weather and more. Those looking for a personal touch can also opt for Google+ photo albums, which will display your very own images.