In addition to the announcement of new products at its I/O 2014 conference, Google also revealed that it is bringing several improvements to its Chromecast streaming dongle. These changes will be rolled-out in the coming months.
“Last summer, we launched Chromecast, a small, affordable device that lets you cast online video, music and anything from the web to your TV. It’s getting an update to make it even more powerful, and convenient to use, with new features like the ability to allow others to cast to your TV without needing to be on the same Wi-Fi network, a customizable homescreen with personal photos or beautiful art, and casting exactly what is on your Android phone or tablet screen directly to the TV,” Google noted in a blog post.
According to Google, it is making it easier for others to cast content to your Chromecast by removing the necessity of being on the same Wi-Fi network as Chromecast. So, the next time your friends arrive at your place, they can start casting the online content to your Chromecast-host HDTV without the need to connect to your home Wi-Fi network.
In addition, Google is bringing Android device mirroring support to Chromecast. After the upcoming update, the Chromecast users will be able to mirror their Android smartphone or tablet screen to Chromecast without any hack or mod. According to Google, it is using a new protocol to reduce latency, so you get the best experience.
Lastly, the new Backdrop feature will allow the Chromecast users to choose what photos they want to appear on their HDTVs, when it is not streaming anything. There will various categories of images to choose from like Art, Places, Lifestyle, Weather, your own photos etc.
The company did not reveal any plans about expanding the availability of Chromecast to more markets.