If you don’t own a Chromecast chances are you have least heard one of your friends raving about it. The little plug-in HDMI device that is notorious for its ability to stream YouTube, Netflix, and other content from your mobile device to your television has really taken off over this past year. But even the most devoted Chromecast users aren’t getting the most out of their device. Check out these helpful tools to allow you to utilize Chromecast for all it has to offer.
1. Offers & apps
Nowadays it seems there is an app for everything you need; Chromecast is no exception. They have hundreds of apps ranging from TV to photos to games all at their website, check it out! They also have tons of free offers such as free movies and downloadable games exclusively for Chromecast streamers.
2. Cast screen
This one is probably a bit more well known but it doesn’t make it any less awesome. Let’s say you checked out all of the apps and offers discussed above, and you still have one that is not supported by casting, you can still cast it by simply casting your screen. Whatever is shown on your cell phone can be mirrored to the television screen by simply pressing the “cast to screen” button under the Chromecast app. You can do the same thing with your computer screen as well, but you will need to install the Google Cast extension for Google Chrome’s browser only.
3. Use headphones
It’s late at night and you want to watch your television without waking up the house. Now you can cast to your tv screen and listen on your phone with earbuds. To do so you must download the local media casting app called Localcast and then select the option to play audio to your phone. You will have to manually synchronize the audio and video feed, which could take a bit of trial and error. There is also one downfall to this app, it can only play media saved to your device, so sorry, no Netflix.
4. Use as an audio adapter
A lot of musical applications have reworked their mechanics to now support casting. Some of the most popular ones are Pandora, Vevo, Google Play Music, Songza, and 8tracks. There are also several podcast players and radio apps available too such as BeyondPod and NPR One.
You know those beautiful photos of landscapes that show while your Chromecast is inactive? You can customize those with images that you choose. Under the Chromecast apps there is a feature called “Backdrop” which allows you to customize your home screen. You can even add entire galleries of your own photos synced right from Google+.
6. Guest Mode
The phrase you were taught as a child “sharing is caring” still applies even to your big kid toys. Once you enable guest mode, Chromecast allows you to share casting abilities with your friends who have downloaded the Chromecast app. This works especially well when using YouTube as it creates a chronological queue of videos anyone using your Chromecast selects: YouTube dance party initiated.
Follow Amber on Twitter @AmberQalagari