The Chromecast is a brilliant device launched by Google in 2013. Two years later, the device is still selling in huge numbers. While most people buy it as an inexpensive way to enable YouTube on a non-smart TV, the Chromecast is way more capable than just streaming those videos.
Here are 5 cool things you can do with your Chromecast:
Cast Local Videos
Most Chromecast users use the device to stream videos online. The same device is capable of streaming videos saved locally on your phone or computer. With an app — Plex you can stream videos on to the television right from your computer. The computer becomes the Plex server where all your movie, sitcoms and songs are arranged. Plex also collects metadata like description, poster, user ratings etc. about your content from the internet and displays them in a beautiful manner. Another app, LocalCast allows you to stream all the content from the mobile to the Chromecast. Movies, songs, pictures…it can cast all of it. There is a cool mode that lets you cast a video on to your TV via the Chromecast while you listen to the audio with the headphones plugged into your mobile. Quite handy when you want to watch a movie without disturbing anyone in the room.
Digital Photo Frame
Digital Photo Frames loop images you save on it, changing it after a fixed interval of time. Photo Frames are generally small around 7 to 9 inches in size. But if you have a Chromecast hooked into your TV you can convert your TV into a huge photo frame. You might have noticed the background changing when the Chromecast is idle for a while. The default app lets you add your images to the Chromecast to display as the backdrop. There is an option to add a Flickr account which pulls image from the Flickr account and displays it via the Chromecast.
Mirror Your Phone
Screen mirroring is supported on a few Android phones at the moment and Google plans to get this feature to other phones soon. But if you have a device that is supported then you can mirror your phone directly on to the TV. Imagine surfing on Facebook or playing games on the big screen. The sound is directed to the TV speakers which makes gaming a little more engaging if you are into racing or shooting games. It’s also very helpful when you have to demonstrate stuff to a group of people in a room. The phone uses its graphic chip to do all the work so the phone might get a little warm after long use. If your mobile phone isn’t supported, the next point is just the thing for you.
Mirror Your Desktop/Chrome
Mirroring is also possible on the desktop and the only thing required is the Chrome Browser and the Google Cast extension. Once the desktop and the Chromecast are on the same WiFi network the extension can be used. The extension has 3 options— mirror the tab you are working on, mirror the browser and mirror the desktop. Mirroring the desktop will convert the television into the monitor screen, you can use it to work on stuff and look at it on the big screen. If you have a television in office,this is the good for giving presentations and demos.
With an update to the Chromecast, Google has enabled multiplayer gaming on it. So the next time you have a couple of friends over you can connect to the TV for some gaming. These are casual games that everyone can play and most games support both Android and iOS so no one is left out.
So don’t restrict your Chromecast to YouTube, go ahead use it to its fullest potential.
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