The Chromecast app received an update this week. The most noticeable change is that the app has been renamed to “Google Cast” in order to better reflect the number and variety of devices that support Google’s casting protocol.
One group is Android TV. Android TVs support casting, although they haven’t worked with the Chromecast app. This means that users aren’t able to change a variety of settings. One of these settings is Backdrop, the default screensaver which fades through a variety of beautiful photos taken by any user when no media is playing.
But the Chromecast app allowed users to customize this screensaver with the content they wanted to see. Curated news, art, photos, space, and weather could all be toggled as options. This provided a great experience, even with it just being a screensaver. However, as the Chromecast app only worked with Chromecasts, Android TVs were unable to get involved.
The Backdrop screensaver has an equivalent feature on Android TV, which was just published in the Google Play Store. That seemed to suggest Google was planning to do more things with it, and now it seems like that’s happening. A program manager at Google, Sascha Prüter, posted a small but exciting new feature on Google+.
The Google Cast app now recognizes Android TVs and will allow users to edit their Backdrop settings, giving them all the customization options that exist. This means any new features Google plans to add should work on both Chromecasts and Android TVs. What should we expect? In the comments of that post, he says, “adding your own photos from your Google Photos account does not work (yet).” With Picasa being sunset and its API being disabled, this should be a great feature if it does happen.
The Google Cast app should replace your Chromecast app in the latest update. If you haven’t received it yet, you can sideload it from APK Mirror.