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Google I/O: Chromecast Updates Coming Including Screen Mirroring

The Google Chromecast is nifty and affordable bit of kit with the potential to turn any HDMI compliant TV into a Smart TV. Heavy emphasis on potential because so far since its release in July 2013 (April 2014, UK) the little dongle has not really shown off its full capabilities. However at the Google I/O conference which started yesterday the Chromecast was given some time to show off some of its new upcoming features.

One of these features for the £30 Chromecast is Backdrop which allows users to change and customise those screensaver images that display and rotate periodically when the Chromecast is left idle. A montage of our personal memories can be stored or can be called up from a Google+ account and will be shown on screen instead of the defaults, in what is not an essential upgrade but it certainly does add a charmingly personal touch to the gadget. As well as personalisation Chromecast can be set to draw in photos that meet your interests plucked from reliable sources.

Also coming soon is an update to the Chromecast ecosystem which will allow streaming content to be displayed from a number of Android devices with the Chromecast app even without the devices in question being on the same WiFi network. Connection will be handled by a dedicated bit of the cloud and device authentication developed by Google for this purpose.

This just may be the best of the upgrades announced for Chromecast at Google I/O. Just like the app extension on Google Chrome for Laptop and PC screen mirroring is a much welcome addition to tablet, allowing casters to project anything they’re viewing from the Android screen onto the TV screen. This is really great news for users considering the development time to get apps Chromecast compliant has taken a while and the software selection for tablets is a bit thin. An initial line up of Android devices compliant for mirroring will be HTC One M7, LG G2, LG G2 Pro, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Samsung Galaxy Note3, Samsung Galaxy S4, and Samsung Galaxy S5.

While these updates and new additions prepare to roll out there is said to be 10,000 apps in development for the Chromecast including the arrival of the Deezer music streaming app which was announced as now available on Android and Apple iOS.

We like the Chromecast, it’s an affordable, quaint and innovative device and we’re happy to see it’ll be getting some much needed upgrades.

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