Chromecast to receive major update

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Google revealed at Google I/O 2014 today that their Chromecast devices will be getting a major update over the coming months. The new features come on the heels of a 40% increase in usage and an explosion in the number of apps, now numbering at least 6,000 which can be discovered via chromecast.com/apps. One of the big changes that owners of Chromecast devices will notice is the ability to cast without being on the same WiFi network. To accomplish this, authentication will now be handled out in the cloud. Users will still be able to control who is allowed to connect in this manner. This new feature will rollout later this summer.

Once a Chromecast is fired up and displayed on your TV, users may also notice a new look courtesy of the new Backdrop feature Google is going to add. Backdrop lets users control what is displayed on the home screen instead of the stock images provided by Google. You can still get data from Google although the sources will be expanded to include Art, Place or Lifestyle choices. However, users will also be able to add their own photo albums to display those. Users will also be able to add some content to the home screen, like a weather feed or some news items so the screen is not just a statis screensaver. In a neat little twist, Google also showed how Google Now can be used to provide more information about what is being displayed on the home screen by asking “OK Google…what’s on my Chromecast?”

Finally, Google is adding a native ability to mirror any Android device to Chromecast. This feature will be accessed via the Chromecast app by selecting “Cast Screen.” Google says they have improved latency issues to such an extent that even an app like the camera can be cast. Initially this capability will only be available on the newest Android devices, but should expand to others quickly. Like the other improvements, the new mirroring will be available later this summer.

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Stick around for more Google I/O 2014 coverage.


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a MINI Cooper, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three mostly grown kids and a golden retriever.


  • Pedro Fernandez Ruiz

    good news for all chromecast users. Last week I bought my second one :)