When Google launched ChromeCast about a year ago, it hailed it as the easiest way to enjoy online video and music on your TV. One year later, this statement is as true as it was back then, maybe even more than that. With a growing list of apps and with more content distributors getting onboard, Chromecast is looking to take over your television by offering capabilities only available on high end smartphones and tablets.
Control Your TV From Your Android Device
This small device which you plug into your TVs HDMI port can be controlled from your Android device. It is even possible to control it from your iOS device or even from your laptop. Any device that runs the Chromecast app can be used as a remote control. Recently, Google also added the ability to control Chromecast on TV via the cloud. Before this update, Chromecast required that the controlling device be connected to the same Wi-Fi.
Run Your Android Apps on Your Big Screen
As more apps continue to be added onto the Chromecast-friendly apps page, we are starting to see services that were previously reserved for your Android phone. Pandora, VEVO, BBC iPlayer, Chrome, Google Play, and of course YouTube are just some of the many apps you can use on Chromecast. This list continues to be updated regularly.
Send Content from Your Chrome Browser to Your TV
Chromecast allows you to ‘cast’ content you are viewing on your Chrome browser straight to the big screen. Using a Google Cast extension, you can view YouTube and Netflix content with the ability to play and pause using your computer as a remote. Video is not the only thing you can cast. Sites, photos and anything viewable on a browser can now be viewed on your big screen from across the room.
View Your Images as a Backdrop
This new feature allows you to cast photos onto your TV when no one is using the big screen. Using your Android phone, your TV now becomes the largest picture frame in the house. Google Maps photos and personalized photos can also be cast onto your TV. Synchronized cards show you relevant information about the casted pictures effectively bringing your TV to life when its not in use.
Make Your App Chromecast Ready
With the release of the Google Cast SDK during the Google I/O 2014, web, iOS, and Android developers now have a new platform to develop on. Chromecast apps are also accessible on Android devices, and with the introduction of casting apps to people not on the same Wi-Fi network, expect your apps to go further than before and reach more people.
Mirror Your Android Device onto Your TV
You can now mirror your Android device by selecting “Cast Screen” from your Chromecast app. From here you can now share anything on your TV. Think of how Google Earth will look on a big screen or how effective you can be when demonstrating something on your phone using your big TV. Chromecast is part of Google’s overall strategy of ensuring ‘a little bit of Google in everything.’ Expect more from this little device that plugs onto your TV as more developers and content distributors embrace its use.