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Google Chromecast: 10 tips and tricks to get the best experience with your tech

If you’re new to the Google Chromecast then there’s probably a lot you want to become familiar with. Like other streaming devices, the Google Chromecast can provide access to a wide selection of streaming apps so you can watch all your favourite films and series. Here are 10 features to enhance your experience with the Google Chromecast. 

#1. Backdrop personalisation. 

If you like to personalise your tech, then changing the backdrop is a simple way to do this. The Chromecast backdrop is essentially the screensaver; when you are not casting or directly using the device, it will display a backdrop. By default, there are feature photos that slide through provided by Google. Open the Google Home application, sign into your account, select devices, select the Chromecast, Settings and then Backdrop settings. Within this setting you can choose the different photos that will show on the backdrop. 

#2. Screen mirroring. 

If you want to mirror the screen on your smartphone or tablet, then the screen mirroring feature is perfect for this. You can open the Google Home app, choose the Chromecast device and select ‘Cast Screen’. This will then cast the content onto the device so you can view it on your TV. This is handy for times when you want to show videos on your phone. 

#3. Remap YouTube button. 

You can remap the YouTube button on your remote between the different YouTube apps you have on the device. To do this, press and hold the YouTube button. This will bring a screen of the different available YouTube apps. Select the app you want to programme this button to which will save. When you next press the YouTube button, it will shortcut to the desired YouTube app. 

#4. Customise ambient mode. 

Ambient mode is another feature when the device is in standby. Whilst the backdrop just shows an image, ambient mode is the different information and visuals that display alongside the image. You can customise ambient mode in the Google Home app to add weather settings and the time to be displayed as part of the screensaver. This helps to create a more personal and ‘smart’ device. 

#5. Voice commands. 

If you’re a fan of a virtual assistant, then you’ll love the voice commands on your Chromecast if available on your model. To use it, simply press and hold the Google Assistant button on the remote to open the microphone. Then, say the command such as ‘Open Netflix’ or ‘Volume Up/Down’. 

#6. Explore the supported apps. 

To make full use of your Chromecast, why not explore all the available apps? Visit the app store and download apps for different streaming services and music stations for you to enjoy. Many supported apps will give you an option on your smartphone to start casting to your Chromecast straight away meaning you can view them on your TV quickly and easily. 

#7. Use ‘For you’.

To explore even more apps, try using the ‘For you?’ tab on the homepage. This tab shows the latest films, programmes and apps that you may be interested in. It is usually tailored to your watch history and can bring a selection of entertainment for you to enjoy. 

#8. Cast without Wi-Fi.  

If you have a visitor that wants to share their screen on your Chromecast, you can use Guest Mode. Open the Google Home app, press and hold the Chromecast name on the app, select Settings Sharing and select Guest Mode. Underneath Guest Mode a PIN will be displayed. When your guest tries to connect to the Chromecast via their phone they will be asked for a PIN. Input the PIN that is found under Guest Mode. 

#9. Play games on your TV. 

Some Chromecast models support gaming. You can cast games from your mobile device to your TV and use your phone as a controller. Follow the casting steps in the app to cast the screen to your TV. This is a great way to turn your living room into a gaming hub.  

#10. Utilise the virtual remote.

If you can’t find your remote, you can still navigate the Chromecast screen without it. Simply open the Google TV app and set up the virtual remote. You can pair it by following the instructions in the app to enter a code. Once set up, you can control the device using the remote on your phone. 

What else is there?

You may find more features along the way to make your experience with the Chromecast better for you. 

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