101 Uses For A Chromecast: Part One

The Google Chromecast has been in my hands for only three days, but I already see the full value. Still, with only four apps currently, many may ask, what exactly can the chromecast do? Well here are 12 functions that you can perform using the chromecast right out of the box. This is the first part in a multipart series on Chromecast uses, which will be built up as more and more Chromecast apps make their way to market. UPDATE: Part Two of the list has been released.

  1. Watch Videos: From cat videos, to your best friend’s baby crawling, if it’s on Youtube, you can watch it in beautiful HD on your TV screen.
  2. Make Presentations: Using web based solutions (like Google Drive, Prezi, iCloud, and Dropbox), you can make full presentations using the Chromecast. Simply share a tab with a presentation, and you have a perfectly capable solution for wirelessly connecting to that big screen TV in your office. Bosses Rejoice!
  3. Monitor Your Website: If you visit a high budget startup, you may notice that they have displays showing their user statistics live. For example, Google has a constantly updated wall of new search terms. You can do this for your own website, by pulling up your live statistic program in Chrome, and then casting the tab. At the time of this writing, five people were currently browsing The App Store Chronicle.
  4. Movie Night: The Chromecast is also highly capable for entire films. Using Google Play, Netflix, or Youtube, you can watch just about every film known to man, and in full HD quality too! By the way, have you read our review of the Chromecast yet?
  5. Family photo slideshows: Having relatives over soon? Services like Flickr, iCloud, and Shutterfly allow you to flip through a slideshow of your latest photos, and specific albums, right from Chrome. You can even let it play automatically, allowing friends and family to look whenever they please.
  6. Browse the web: This one is obvious, but it’s incredibly useful. This is the differentiating feature between the Chromecast and all other streaming devices.
  7. Multitasking: Browse the web while you watch a video. Send an email while watching your twitter feed. Sending a tab over to your TV allows you to do multiple things at once, and the added screen real estate frees up room to do three things at once (if you’ve got the skills).
  8. Videochatting: Via web-based videochatting services like Google’s hangouts, you can display your loved ones/coworkers/anyone on a larger screen, making it even more personal. Learn more about how to do this properly using the droid lawyer’s instructions.
  9. Teaching: The Chromecast is going to be huge in education. It makes the once-expensive technology of mirroring far more accesible. The Chromecast will be big for classroom demos, tutorials, and other educational experiences.
  10. Watching the News: Several websites have live streams of the latest news (as in a stream of headlines). You can also watch live feeds of CNN, and a few other news sources via their websites.
  11. Watching the Markets: Several websites and chrome extensions also offer live tickers (of stocks) allowing you to watch your favorite stocks, without having to switch to another website, or interrupting your day.
  12. Broadcasting Live: The lag when browsing is a problem for most video, but for those who live stream events, it has no effect. Since broadcast monitors don’t need audio anyway, and there’s already a delay, the Chromecast may function as a decent broadcast monitor (especially for the price).
  13. Read part two of the list here. List continued.

The latest, most innovative technology…all in one email

Stay tuned as this list expands, and for my full review of the Chromecast, coming soon.

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4 Responses

  1. Francis says:

    I’ve created an extention to let you make a slideshow with your own photos.
    Fullscreen slideshow: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/fullscreen-slideshow/ckciegopcnnpagdmgjadmhjkocchicji

  2. Lindsey says:

    I just set up my chromecast but cannot figure out how to get my photos from shutterfly to play on a slideshow on my tv. Any suggestions?

    • Michael Sitver says:

      I don’t think there’s an official app yet, but I came up with a workaround in the meantime. Using your Chrome browser, open up Shutterfly. Go to “my pictures”, and the album you’d like to display, and select the photos that you’d like to display by clicking on them. In the top right of that box, you can also choose “select:all”. In the menu bar above the photos, is a button that says “Play Slideshow”. A box will open, with a link saying “Play Slideshow”. Click the link. Now here’s where it gets a bit complicated. A new window will open with your slideshow. Copy the URL (i.e shutterfly.com/lightbox/…) from the top of that box, to a new tab in the chrome window with the shutterfly website up. Click the chromecast menu button (a square with signals on it), and select “Cast this tab”, and the name of your Chromecast. Let me know if you need clarification on any of this. To finish it off, go to the top right corner of the slideshow, and select “full Screen”. Now select the “play” button, and you should be good to go! I know this sounds like a lot, but once you know how to do it, it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.

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