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Chromecast Getting Android Device Mirroring And More

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Chromecast may be the weird stepchild of the new Android TV, but seeing as it’s sold incredibly well globally, Google would be remiss if it didn’t pay it some much-needed attention during this morning’s keynote.

One of the most exciting features demoed onstage was Android mirroring. A long time coming, the service – which is in beta and will be incorporated into Google Play Services in a few weeks – lets you to cast your device’s display and audio to Chromecast. That, of course, allows you to play games or navigate around Google Earth on your TV. Mirroring seemed quite responsive – Google built a new protocol explicitly targeting low latency – and everything seemed to work without a hitch, including switching between landscape and portrait and using the phone’s camera. 

Unfortunately, mirroring is a hardware-dependent feature – only HTC, Samsung, LG, and Nexus devices will be able to take advantage, at least initially. Bummer.

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Another welcome addition to Chromecast is the ability to cast from a different network. Using WiFi and cellular to approximate location, devices will now automatically detect and be able to use a Chromecast without having to connect to a local network. PIN security can be enabled, of course, if that prospect frightens you.

Finally, the familiar backdrops that display when Chromecast is idle are becoming customizable. An updated version of the Chromecast app for Android and iOS has a toggle to stream photos from either your Google+ library, or from category-specific web galleries like Art, Places, Lifestyle, and Weather. Each backdrop will now be accompanied by more information, too – just ask Google Now “what’s on my Chromecast” to be presented with details about image on screen.

Don’t expect these features anytime soon – Google is projecting they’ll roll out gradually over the next few weeks. Chromecast owners, you certainly have things to look forward to.

  • brad h

    Chrome cast + showbox> netflix

  • droidiac13

    I guess it’s time to actually unwrap the thing. :)

  • schlanz

    too bad, so sad, moto x apologists

  • Tristan the Marine

    Even though they didn’t announce an android in-car solution yet, I think this lays a great foundation. Mirror (or better, extend) your phone screen to your in-dash touch screen. Yes please.

    • Tristan the Marine

      I rescind my comment now that it’s been announced

      • TheMoreYouKnow

        The in-dash screen wont permit streaming of any kind while the vehicle is in motion. That is a block put in place by the manufacturers. You could “hack” it; but it is illegal to have video streaming in the view of the driver (in many states).

  • duke69111

    Should that be LG G Pro 2 in the 2nd photo or did I miss the launch of the LG G2 Pro?

  • Joe Butler

    So glad to hear they specifically targeted the latency problem. If it’s as smooth as they say it is, this could open up so many doors for android gaming. For example, this would allow you to basically have a portable N64 console on your phone!

  • pball_inuyasha

    I will be buying one of these as soon as the mirroring is added. Thankfully I have an N7 and S4 and screen mirroring is over half the reason I want a Chromecast. Both of my devices would need a different type of video output cable so a chromecast will be probably be cheaper, wireless, and more future compatible (hopefully).

  • Finire

    Looks like it might be time to grab it out of the desk drawer and actually plug it back in.

    • JSo

      It’s made for your TV, not your desk drawer. :)

      • Finire

        Yes… but it really wasn’t useful enough to justify using one of my limited HDMI ports on the TV until now… or a few weeks from now I should say.

  • andrew borrelli

    Awesome… all of my devices will be compatible :P Nexus 5, Nexus 10, and GS4.

  • https://plus.google.com/113924127356889315682?tab=ch#113924127356889315682/posts//p/pub Chris Jeske

    that does it. I’m getting one finally.

  • T4rd

    Lol, screw Samsung and their $100 all-share cast hub.

  • Guy Pierce

    I don’t have WIFI and my home internet is by tethering my G2. I wish I could use my Chromecast over my LTE connection. Any suggestions besides getting WIFI?

    • 213ninja
      • Guy Pierce

        That’s what I’m doing but it can’t use the same connection that the tethering/hotspot is creating.

    • Ray

      Buy a galaxy nexus for $50? Get a android tablet maybe

    • T4rd

      That’s one of the points they hit on at I/O actually; using chromecast over cellular connection. So that will be available “later this year” they said. Not sure if the mirroring functionality is included though. I doubt it because I know that’s pretty dependent on low latency.

      • JRomeo

        will not work…. chromecast still utilizes WiFi. the added functionality just means your house visitors no longer need to be on your WiFi to controlt he chromecast.

        • T4rd

          What won’t work? Mirroring or everything else? Because it looked like everything else worked fine during the demo and as I said, I doubt Mirroring will work if you’re not on the WiFi network.

          • JRomeo

            Here’s how it works [err, will work in the future, when new features are implemented]. Lets say you want to cast a youtube video to your chromecast so you could watch it on the HDTV. Lets say you are not connected to WiFi, however, your chromecast is. IF the owner of the chromecast enabled this option, THEN the new upcoming feature update to chromecast will enable you to cast a youtube video to the chromecast, even though you are not connected to WiFi (e.g. you’re on 3G/4G). This works because Google keeps track in some online mega-database every single chromecast, the name of the WiFi network each of them are on. your phone recognizes the strongest WiFi network in range also…. so when you cast a youtube video (without being on same WiFi as chromecast), you’ll essentially be letting Google decide which chromecast to cast that youtube video to. and since google knows which WiFi network your phone recognizes, and which WiFi network the chromecast is connected to, google makes that connection “in the cloud” without you having to join that WiFi network.

    • M3D1T8R

      Can’t you create a WiFi hotspot? That’s how I do it through my DNA (rooted/rommed). Does Foxfi work with the G2? Probably not..

    • Lisa Gierszewski

      I use my lg g2 as a hot spot and connect my Razr maxx hd and also connect chromecast to LG g2. So I’m actually using 2 phones. We have wifi at home but I have UDP. so why not use it…

  • M3D1T8R

    My Nexus 7 (2013) with stock 4.4.3 was doing this weird thing where in the top right drop down menu on the bottom was a “cast screen” option. It caused the drop down menu to glitch sometimes. Never actually tried to enable it. I just now got the ota upgrade to 4.4.4 and it’s now gone. Anyone else notice this?

    • zwrose

      I saw this on my nexus 5 multiple times. It has been happening for months…never did anything though.

    • Erstam

      I had this on 4.4.2 pretty frequently. I tried several times, but just came up with an error.

    • Jordan Harvey

      I had the same thing on my Nexus 5

    • Justin W

      It would error out if you tried to cast to any Chromecast. It was an incomplete feature that hadn’t completely been prepared, but it should be fixed once this feature rolls out to the above devices. Also, it was happening on my Moto X even, so maybe there’s hope yet?

      • Ian Case

        Seem pretty sloppy to have it show up in consumer devices (even my Moto X had it) if it was incomplete and didn’t work.

        • Justin W

          Sure, but there are usually a couple of things that slip by. It seems like they wanted to release it with 4.4, but they tried cleaning it out sloppily it seems.

      • Tim Parker

        It showed up on my Moto x and I was able to cast videos from multiple sites. But now the cast button is gone.

  • rickneworleansla

    No Nexus 2012??!

    • 213ninja

      must not be speccy enough. i have both 2012 and 2013 and they perform quite similarly for what i use them for….so idk.

      • M3D1T8R

        Also own both, used constantly. 2013 clearly more responsive in Chrome and generally, absolutely worth the upgrade in my case.

        • 213ninja

          ironically we mainly use them to cast video from netflix and synology DS….and they both do that marvelously.

      • rickneworleansla

        I’ve been thinking about upgrading but I am holding out for the Nexus 8 or whatever may come along.

    • JSo

      2012? Galaxy Nexus? They dropped support for that so I don;t think you are going to see anything about it even if it is compatible.

      • rickneworleansla

        Do you mean chromecast support? Google hasn’t dropped support for the tablet as far as I know. I am currently running the 4.4.4 (KTU84P) factory image on it.

        • JSo

          No. I thought you were talking about the Galaxy Nexus for some reason. You only said “Nexus 2012″ you didnt say “Nexus 7 2012″

  • LosttsoL

    About time. How long has Airplay been around now?

  • 213ninja

    lmao @ no moto X

    • TheDave1022

      As a Moto X owner, I dont find that funny. Hopefully coming soon will add the Moto X.

      • andre08

        As a moto x owner I find it funny

    • ToddAwesome

      yeah, real hysterical, funny ha ha.

  • ToddAwesome

    Super, my wife and her M7 will be thrilled, me, not so much.

  • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

    Well, there it is, I finally have a reason to get a bluetooth controller.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Unfortunately, mirroring is a hardware-dependent feature – only HTC, Samsung, LG, and Nexus devices will be able to take advantage, at least initially.
    That pretty much covers the majority of the Android Market.

    • Raven

      No Moto X :-(

  • JSo

    This news made me happy. I was just saying I would like new features for Chromecast since it sounded like they were going to move more towards Android TV. I’m glad they didn’t leave this out.

    • JRomeo

      AndroidTV has chromecast functionality built-in. so if you have an androidTV, you also have a chromecast.

      • JSo

        But I don’t have Android TV so that’s why I didn’t want them to skip over Chromecast.

  • WK

    finally a reason for me to get a chromecast. i just wanted to be able to mirror games with no lag, like racing games. and i have a G2. score!

  • Daniel Aceves

    best 35 dollars i ever spent

    • evltwn

      Best $11 I spent.

      • DanSan

        best $10.99 I ever spent.

        • rickneworleansla

          Where?

          • Justin W

            Oooh, I know this one!

            3 months of Netflix free = $23.97 saved, sop he actually spent about $11.03

        • evltwn

          I rounded up.

    • EC8CH

      what!?

      you only bought one?

      • Justin W

        I bought one. Then another. Then two more, and then another one.

        I love them, and friends/family use them too!

    • M3D1T8R

      Yep, same. Only problem is the second one I bought as a gift for someone never worked right, would just randomly not display. Tried troubleshooting it for a while, never permanently fixed. Never got around to mailing it back for them..

    • BTLS

      Best -$1.60 I ever spent… After selling 3 of 4 at 50 a pop when they were all sold out.

    • Curtis

      add free Netflix and it was a bargain!!

    • mamiecharbonneau325

      Chloe
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      great Maserati since I been bringin in $8693 this past month and in excess of
      10 grand this past month . with-out any doubt it’s the best job I have ever
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  • radiohead14

    kinda odd that no motorola products support this yet

    • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

      Yeah, and what the hell is the deal with no M8 yet?

    • Leif Sikorski

      Well, they say “and more coming soon”.

      • radiohead14

        right, but as a google owned company.. it’s odd that they aren’t in the initial support

        • LikeABoss

          Lenovo owned company?

          • Ian Case

            The deal hasn’t closed yet.

          • LikeABoss

            I’d bet that Google is assuming that it will close.

    • James

      Yep, the lack of Moto X on that list stuck out to me like a sore thumb. It had better “come soon” indeed.

  • jbdan

    yes!

  • chris kilps

    why no moto love?

    • Geekdad

      Blame the modified chip set