How to use Chromecast on Amazon Fire tablets (Fire HD, Fire HDX and Kindle Fire HDX)

Enjoy Chromecast on Amazon Fire tablets!

use_Chromecast_on_Amazon_Fire_tabletsBeing an Amazon customer does not mean you cannot enjoy Chromecast on Amazon Fire tablets!

Amazon Fire tablet (including Fire HD, Fire HDX and Kindle Fire HDX) offers an excellent option of value-for-money tablet. However, Amazon customized Android OS to such an extent that it looks different from many other Android tablets.

Although Amazon proudly named the OS as Fire OS, it is essentially still Android: most Android Apps can run on Amazon Fire tablet. You can sideload many Google Play store apps on the tablet. Please follow this guide if you are not sure how to get Google Play store apps to your Fire HD, Fire HDX or Kindle Fire HDX.

If you are a Chromecast owner with one of these Amazon Fire tablets, you can also enjoy Chromecast on your Fire tablet.

Please note, although the current Fire OS (4.5.3) is based on Android KitKat 4.4.3Continue to read the post....

A Guide to Chromecast Offers

How to check and claim Chromecast offers? What's Chromecast promotional offers? This guide gives you the answer.

chromecast_offers_guideMany Chromecast owners wasted free Chromecast offers for them, are you one of them?

For most companies, you can only get some special offers or gifts when buying their product.  After paying them, you seldom get free offers from them unless you upgrade or buy a new one again.

Google is really different.

Google gives Chromecast  owners offers after offers, including existing owners. All these Chromecast offers are offered free from Google. Some of them are just like cash rebate e.g.,  Google Play Store credit,  which you can use for apps, music, TV or movies. Some are free movies.  Of course, some are free trials.

But many Chromecast owners are not aware of such Chromecast offers, and therefore let the offers expired.

This guide is to show you how to check the Chromecast offers available for you, and how to claim (redeem) them from your PC or Android … Continue to read the post....

Chromecast VS Amazon Fire TV stick: which one is for you?

A buyer's guide on whether you should get Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV stick

chromecast_vs_amazon_fire_tv_stickWhen considering to buy a streaming device for the TV, a lot of people may have a hard time to decide between Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Both gadgets share the similar form factor, share the similar price (less than $40). Both are from reputable tech companies.

It is usually not helpful to read reviews for these two products. It is all about your needs: what do you want to do with the HDMI Stick?

This guide will try to help you decide which one is suitable for YOU: Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick?

I have no intention (possible?) to make judgment on which one is better, because the better one is not always suitable for you. What you need is Mr. or Ms. Right.

Chromecast VS Amazon Fire TV Stick: 2 similar but fundamentally different products

Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV Stick have a similar … Continue to read the post....

Chromecast guest mode guide

What is Chromecast guest mode? When will you need it?

By default, the only way to use Chromecast is by joining your device to the same network as Chromecast.

This is part of the security consideration: you don’t want your neighbor to mess up your TV screen.

Sometimes, you have some guests in house and they want to share something interesting from their devices through Chromecast. In this case, you have to connect their devices to your network to use the Chromecast.

If you have some sensitive files in your home network, you probably are reluctant to have them connected to your network. You may trust your friends; but you cannot trust their devices which may have nasty malware.

Chromecast guest mode comes to solve your dilemma. Thanks to the recent update in Chromecast.

You can turn on guest mode on your Chromecast device so that your guests can … Continue to read the post....

Android screen casting for Chromecast is now supported on all Android devices with KitKat 4.4.2 or later

Android screen casting makes the TV your second screen!

The latest Chromecast app (1.9.6) update brought  Android screen casting (screen mirroring), one of the most anticipated features of Chromecast, to all Android devices with Android KitKat 4.4.2 or later.

If you are new to this feature, you may refer to this post.

Essentially, Android screen casting (screen mirroring) through Chromecast will make your TV the second screen of your Android devices.

You can enjoy videos, games, music, and everything on the TV with Android screen casting through Chromecast.

Anything displayed on your android screen and the audio can be mirrored on your TV through Chromecast.

This makes your $35 Chromecast more values.

Previously, screen casting feature is only supported on a few selected (high-end) devices.… Continue to read the post....

How to use Chromecast backdrop to customize the TV screen?

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Chromecast backdrop feature was officially released early this month. Now you can customize the TV screen when you are not casting contents through Chromecast.

What contents can be used for Chromecast backdrop?

Essentially, Chromecast backdrop allows you to fill the TV screen with the following contents:

  • Your photo albums (private or public) in Google+. You can enable or disable albums one by one.
  • Artwork from galleries and museums around the world via the Google Cultural Institute.
  • News and lifestyle images from The New York Times, The Guardian, Saveur and other provides. This currently is for US users only possibly due to content distribution restrictions.
  • Satellite imagery of some of the hardest-to-reach places on Earth from Google Maps.
  • Photos from the Google+ community

You can enable or disable these contents individually from your … Continue to read the post....

Screen mirroring with Chromecast

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Current Price: $350.00
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Update: with Chromecast app update to 1.9.6, Android screen casting (screen mirroring) is available in ALL Android devices with Android KitKat 4.4.2 or later versions. 

Screen mirroring with Chromecast Arrives: cast your Android screen without relying on apps

As announced  in Google I/O 2014, Chromecast would get some nice update and new features. We will discuss these new features in later posts once they are available;e publicly

One of the most exciting new  features of Chromecast  is screen mirroring (or screen casting) for Android devices.  You can mirror whatever on your  Android devices to a TV without using any apps (of course, for non-Nexus devices, you need Chromecast app) including audio.

Now, with Chromecast app update (to 1.7.4), screen mirroring with Chromecast is now fully working on some  selected (models) Continue to read the post....

How to use Plex media server to stream local media to Chromecast (from your PC)

Why do we need one more solution (robust and free) of streaming local media to Chromecast?

To stream local media to Chromecast is not as simple as many expected. Google intends to make Chromecast an internet thing, not a local media player.

If you used Chromecast for online streaming, you probably are very happy with this $35 device. It works with more and more services, and the online streaming quality is quite impressive most of the time.

But if you have a lot of media files in the hard drive of your PC, you may feel the pain to stream local media to Chromecast  (to watch on the big screen).

In the Chromecast how-to guides section, I shared two methods of streaming local media to Chromecast:

  1. Stream local video to Chromecast through a Chrome browser tab.
  2. Share the whole desktop screen (and audio) to Chromecast through desktop sharing.
Continue to read the post....

Chromecast VS Miracast: everything you need know about Chromecast, wireless display and screen mirroring

Uchromecast-vs-miracastpdate 1: Android screen mirroring through Chromecast is available! Please read this post for details.

Chromecast was hailed by the Time Magazine  as the most innovative gadget in 2013.  This affordable HDMI dongle changes the way people consume contents, especially online video and music.

Most people now have multiple screens: smartphones ( normally 3.5-7″), tablets (normally 7-12.2″), laptops (normally 10-17″), PC (normally 19-34″) and of course TV (normally 34-80″).  Different size gives different experiences, and some contents., for example, full-length movies,  are preferred in a larger TV screen.

How to unify these screens?

There are different answers from different vendors. But most of them are vendor-dependent. In other words, the solution only works for some specific-branded devices. For example, Apple has AirPlay (which requires Apple TV); Samsung introduced  AllShare Cast since Galaxy S3 (which requires certain Samsung Galaxy devices).

Chromecast delivered an answer that is independent of Continue to read the post....

Google Cast SDK opens door to public: more apps will work with Chromecast

google-cast-sdk-released-for-chromecast-developersChromecast is one of the most innovative gadgets in 2013.  It makes it easy to enjoy contents in a large screen at an affordable price of $35.

But what holds most enthusiasts from ordering the device is that only limited apps are supported before the Google Cast SDK  is open to public. Only selected partners (e.g., Hulu, HBO, Plex…) are allowed to release apps with Chrome cast support.

The Google Cast SDK (it is branded as Google Cast in most situations, although the product name is still Chromecast)  was initially for preview only: developers are not allowed to release their apps per the terms.

This week, Google finally officially open the Google Cast SDK to the public. All developers now can make their apps work with Chromecast officially.

This brings infinite opportunities for our Chromecast, and for our mobile devices

We will see more and more apps work with Chromecast. … Continue to read the post....