It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a good Chromecast update, but today, one of the most long requested features is finally being addressed. New for Android and iOS are backdrops, custom backgrounds the user can configure to display everything from custom wallpapers, to news and weather.
Setup is a breeze and gives users a robust set of options like displaying their own photos (off by default), art (from Google Open Gallery and Google Cultural Institute), weather in your location, satellite images, featured Google+ photos, or news from your Google Play Newsstand account. Although social networks or sites like Tumblr aren’t supported quite yet, it’s pretty easy to see where Google can take this.
If you’re ever curious to learn more about whatever is being displayed (like some sort of the art), at any point you can either open the Chromecast app and tap on what’s being displayed (backdrop tab), or open up the Google app on your phone and speak the command “What’s on my Chromecast?” Doesn’t get much easier than that.
The Chromecast 1.8.22 is rolling out in stages right now on Google Play, so either wait around until it’s available for your device, or sideload the app by downloading the updated apk here. You can learn more about backdrops by visiting Google’s all new landing page.