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 Android devices or iOS devices.
More interestingly, you can even learn more about the current images shown on TV by asking questions in Google voice search directly.
How to setup Chromecast backdrop to customize the TV screen?
In your Android device, start Chromecast app.
Tap the menu key (3 vertical dots) in the top left as shown below to call out the menu items.
Tap Backdrop (as shown below).
Then you are in the Backdrop preferences page.
For satellite images and featured photos, you can drag the switch to right to turn it on, left to turn it off.
For your own photos, weather and art, you need tap it to see more options in a new page.
That’s all for Chromecast backdrop settings.
After you setup the Chromecast backdrop, you will see the current backdrop on your Android device as shown below.
You can tap the settings icon (gear) in the top right to change the backdrop preferences.
Of course, you can also get more info on the photo/image from Google by tapping the link below.
You can also ask “What’s on my Chromecast?” in Google voice search to get answer without tapping the link.
How does Chromecast backdrop show photos when multiple users are sharing the same Chromecast device?
If multiple users are sharing the Chromecast device, and some finished the backdrop preferences setup, the backdrop will then use the “mixed” preferences. In other words, all preferences are used in rotation randomly.
Of course, Google may use some algorithms to determine the weighting factor for different albums based on number of photos in the album.
The Chromecast backdrop preferences are saved in the Chromecast (and Google server), not in your phone. It has nothing to do with the person who are using the device. Someone else who didn’t setup the backdrop preferences for this Chromecast device will still see the customized backdrop based on all backdrop preferences saved or linked to this Chromecast.
I have two Chromecast devices, can I set different Chromecast backdrop preferences for each of them?
No, you cannot have two Chromecast backdrop preference profiles.
Chromecast backdrop preferences profile is linked to your Google account. There is only one preference profile. If you change the backdrop preferences settings in the second Chromecast device, the first one will also use the updated profile.
Why my Google+ photos are not displayed in Chromecast backdrop?
Your Google+ photos are used for Chromecast backdrop only when :
- They are in one of the albums, and
- You assigned the album for Chromecast backdrop in Chromecast app.
Chromecast backdrop only uses albums created in your Google +. The album can be private or public.
Auto backup of photos from Photos app in your phone are NOT in any albums. You must manually create albums in Google +. You may check this guide on how to create albums in Google+.
If in Chromecast app, there are no albums shown (as shown below). It usually means there are no albums in your Google+ profile. If you just created some, you may tap the refresh button in the top to load them.
Once the album list is loaded, you can check some to be used for Chromecast backdrop as shown below.
Do you have any questions on setting and using Chromecast backdrop to customize the TV screen?
Please leave your questions, comments, and feedback in the comment box below, if you have any questions or get any problems on setting and using Chromecast backdrop to customize the TV screen. We will try to help you.
For more Chromecast tutorial, you may check our Chromecast how-to guide page.