- Everything you need to know about the Google Chromecast: versions, functions, applications, tricks, and much more.
What is the Google Chromecast for? If you don’t have Google’s small but useful streaming device yet, you’ve probably wondered at some point what is the reason for such fame and why this gadget has become one of the best-selling and most successful Google products ever.
Well, several reasons justify the triumph of this accessory of just over 30 euros. In this article, we will put on the table all the information that anyone who still does not have a Google Chromecast should know: what it is, how it works and what it is for.
What is the Google Chromecast, and how does it work
Google itself defines the Chromecast as a device that, connected to the HDMI port of any television, can play television programs and series, movies, games, and much more in streaming through another device. When buying the Chromecast, we will find the device itself and a USB cable that will be connected to the TV itself or the electrical network through an adapter and will be used to power the Chromecast –since it cannot get power from the TV through HDMI–.
Currently, Chromecast can be configured with most devices on the market, whether iPhone, iPad, Android, macOS computers, Windows PCs, and even Chromebooks. This means that it is unnecessary to use a specific remote to control the Chromecast, but everything is controlled from the mobile or the computer simply and intuitively.
When connecting the Chromecast to the TV for the first time, an assistant will guide us through the initial setup process. The first necessary step will be to connect the device to the Wi-Fi network, which must be the same one where the other computers from which the content will be broadcast and control are located. In using an Android smartphone or tablet, or an iPhone or iPad, it will be necessary to install the Google Home application, available both on Google Play and in the App Store.
Now, it will only be necessary to open an application compatible with Chromecast, such as Netflix, YouTube, or any of the best apps available on Google Play for this device. Look for the icon to send content that usually appears in the upper right corner. By selecting the name of our Chromecast, we will see how the video, music, images, or any content that we are broadcasting, will be shown on the TV since the Chromecast receives the video and audio signal working similarly to a WiFi access point.
And best of all is that while the content is played on the Chromecast, it is possible to continue using the mobile, tablet, or computer without any problem. If we wish, it is possible to control the playback from any device connected to the same Wi-Fi network, something beneficial, for example, when the device from which it began to broadcast has run out of battery.
And don’t worry if you don’t know how to turn off the Chromecast because you don’t have to. When you’re done using it, you have to stop streaming the content from the device you’re doing it on.
All Google Chromecast models and their differences
Currently, there are four different Google Chromecasts, each with totally different capabilities. These are their differences:
Google Chromecast with Google TV
This is the latest version of the Chromecast available, released in 2020 to introduce major changes from previous editions.
It is the first Google Chromecast with Google TV, a complete operating system for televisions based on Android TV, which makes it much more versatile by giving the possibility of installing applications directly on the device.
In addition, it has a remote control to control content playback without having to use a mobile phone.
In our opinion, and According to the opinions of many users, the price of the original Chromecast makes it an almost irresistible product. It is the classic model, the second generation launched in 2015 with a more polished design than the original version launched in 2013. It allows all kinds of content to be broadcast to television, with a maximum video resolution of 1080p – which will depend on the TV resolution. It is compatible with all the applications available for the platform, and its main virtue compared to the first edition is the best Wi-Fi connection, compatible with 2.4 and 5 GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi networks.
In addition, in October 2018, Google renewed the product with the launch of the Chromecast 3 . This third generation brought as main features and innovations Bluetooth connectivity, support for multi-room audio, and a new, more minimalist design in black and white colors.
Google Chromecast Ultra
The Chromecast Ultra, also known as Chromecast 2, maintains the foundations of the original model but adds among its features the ability to play content in UltraHD 4K and HDR resolution – although again, it will depend on the resolution of the television to which it is connected. -. It is also the most expensive model available in the Google store.
Google Chromecast Audio
Despite being the least popular model, the Chromecast Audio is more useful than it seems at first glance. It is a device that, instead of connecting to a television, will connect to any speaker through the AUX port to turn it into a smart speaker and thus play songs streaming from other devices.
If you want, you can also take a look at the Chromecast alternatives on Amazon.
What is the Chromecast for, and what can be done with it?
We have already discussed some of the functions of the Google Chromecast above. However, this small device has great potential thanks to the many compatible applications on Google Play. Among the many things that can be done with a Chromecast, we highlight the following:
- Watch movies, series, and videos thanks to apps like Netflix, VLC, HBO, or YouTube.
- Listen to songs, radio, or podcasts on the TV with your lyrics with Spotify and MusixMatch.
- Duplicate the screen of the mobile or computer on the television.
- Play games from your mobile on a big screen.
- Use the TV as a whiteboard for PowerPoint presentations or Google Presentations.
Tricks for the Chromecast
There are also a series of tricks for the Google Chromecast, through which you can get more out of this useful Google device. Among them, we highlight the following:
- Download the background images – If you want to get the great background images that the Chromecast includes, you have to access the Chromecast home page from the browser and download the image to your device.
- What is being broadcast right now? – If you are in a room far from your Chromecast, you can find out if someone is broadcasting content and what type of content by asking the Google Assistant, “What’s on my Chromecast?”
- Enjoy your favorite content in silence (for the rest) – Thanks to applications such as LocalCast for Android, you can play content on your Chromecast. At the same time, the audio is broadcast through the headphones connected to the mobile so as not to disturb other people in the same room.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.