Your Chromecast gives you the power to cut the cord and stream video and music from your devices to your TV. While you’ve probably already figured out the basics, you’ll get even more for your money by trying out a few highly useful Chromecast hacks.
Using the Chromecast Preview Program
Do you want the latest updates before anyone else? Try out the newest features before they’re publicly available by joining the Chromecast Preview Program. Remember, these updates might have a few glitches since they’re still being tweaked. Google just asks for your feedback in exchange.
Sign up in the Google Home app. Choose your device’s card and go to Settings > Preview Program > Join Program.
Utilizing Guest Mode
Easily stream content from guest devices, such as a visiting friend’s smartphone, by enabling Guest Mode. Open the Google Home app and go to Settings > Guest Mode. You’ll get a pin number for guests to use to access your Chromecast. Guest devices don’t have to be on the same Wi-Fi network, but they do need to be in the same room as the Chromecast.
Controlling With Your Smartphone
Looking for Chromecast hacks to give you more control just from your smartphone? Install the free Google Home app (previously Google Cast) to search for content, control playback on any Chromecast device, discover new apps, control audio (for Chromecast audio devices), and customize how your TV looks. You can also manage your Google Home device, if you have one.
If you have an old Android device you no longer use, you can turn it into a dedicated Chromecast remote using this advanced hack.
Related Read: Smart Home Audio Systems for Every Household
Discovering New Apps
Chromecast devices give you access to a wide variety of apps to watch TV and movies, listen to music, play games, and watch your favorite sports. You can download the apps you need from either the Google Home app or the Google Play Store.
The Google Home app is the easiest method. Tap the Discover tab to find new apps and features. Chromecast compatible apps are difficult to find on the Google Play store, but this hidden collection shows all the latest compatible apps. One of the easiest Chromecast hacks for finding new apps is to use the official Chromecast website.
Overcoming Weak Wi-Fi
Chromecasts are great, but they do require a strong, reliable Wi-Fi signal to work. If your home Wi-Fi isn’t strong enough, buy a Chromecast ethernet adapater. Connect your Chromecast directly to your modem with this $15 adapter. Setup is simple and you’ll have a much more reliable signal for streaming.
Customizing With Chromecast Hacks
One of the most enjoyable Chromecast hacks is customizing your TV screen. The Backdrop feature works much like a screensaver, but by default, it just shows pretty landscapes.
Get more from Backdrop by choosing your Chromecast device from the Google Home app. Go to Settings > Backdrop Settings. Select from various content categories, such as Google Photos, Play Newsstand, and Weather. Some content may require additional apps. The content you choose appears on your TV instead of the default images.
Listening With Headphones
Use your Chromecast at night without waking anyone by listening to audio through your tablet or smartphone. You’ll still see video on your TV. LocalCast for Chromecast allows you to route audio back to your smartphone so you can listen via headphones. At this time, the app is still working out a few glitches with the feature.
Bonus: Getting Free Stuff
Who doesn’t like free stuff? One of the best, yet least known, Chromecast hacks is the ability to get free offers just for owning a Chromecast device. Check the Offers page regularly to get special content free, such as watching the latest blockbuster movie.
Related Read: 7 Ways to Rent Movies Online Without a Subscription