Google’s Chromecast is an inexpensive device designed to let you stream music, movies, and other content over the internet to your TV. But when you’re not streaming anything, a Chromecast will show pretty pictures pulled from Google’s servers.

Now Google is giving users more control over which pictures and other content show up on the home screen. The Chromecast apps for Android and iOS now let you select custom “Backdrop” content.

chromecast backdrop

You can choose image albums from Google+ or artwork from museums and galleries. You can also choose satellite imagery from Google Maps. Another option lets you display weather data.

Folks in the US can also choose to view news and lifestyle content from content providers including The New York Times and The Guardian.

The Chromecast app lets you choose which features you want enabled or disabled and if you want to know more about the image or news item that’s on your screen, you can open the Chromecast app on your device or use the Google search app and ask “what’s on my Chromecast?”

Google is rolling out the update to its Chromecast apps for Android and iOS starting today.

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4 replies on “Chromecast adds support for custom background images”

  1. Saw this at a new restaurant yesterday. It displays a small Chromecast icon in the bottom right of the screen. Really nice pictures… much better than sports or news (that nobody can hear anyways).

  2. They also now require that you have a Google account in order to use it. That wasn’t the case before. That means that those of us who would like to use our handheld-computers, aka phones, without tying it to a Google account are left out in the cold. Hmm, might be time to look for a different solution.

    1. Yeah, would be interested to know to what degree Google is tracking what we watch. You got to assume they are tracking everything for marketing purposes, which is yet another invasion of privacy. I guess it is just par for the course these days, given you can’t even download a book from your libraray without it being tracked by a corporation.

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