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Getting a many out of your Chromecast this Christmas

Getting a many out of your Chromecast this Christmas

Google’s Chromecast creates it easy to tide flattering many anything to your TV. Movies, TV shows, music, games, photos — whatever you’re meddlesome in, there are copiousness of smartphone and inscription apps versed with Google’s tiny Cast button. So, possibly we have one bending adult to a categorical TV in your vital room, or a second shade somewhere else in a house, Chromecast could be a useful apparatus to have on palm this Christmas. For a UK readers, here’s a discerning outline for maxing out a little dongle over a subsequent few days.


Once your home is lonesome in braid and intense lights, zero beats some cringeworthy, nonetheless dear Christmas song to get everybody in a gratifying spirit. And, since not each domicile has a dedicated hi-fi system, Google’s Chromecast is a flattering good choice for pumping out some classical carols and Christmas chart-toppers by your TV.

Google, of course, has a possess song streaming use to assistance we out. Any song we already possess can be synced with Play Music around Google’s cloud-based “locker” service, after that we can starting building a ideal playlist regulating any Android or iOS device. Alternatively, we can take out a Spotify-style All Access subscription to tide anything from Google’s online catalogue; it also comes with a new YouTube Music Key for ad-free song videos.

Rdio and Deezer both support Chromecast, and if we have a subscription with possibly use we can tide your favourite Christmas marks yet interruption. Blinkbox Music is a plain giveaway choice that offers genre- and artist-based “stations” (curated playlists), while TuneIn’s apps cover some-more required Internet radio.

Want to dance around with some song videos personification in a background? YouTube is an apparent choice, yet we’d also chuck VEVO’s mobile apps into a mix.

TV and Movies

It’s easy to skip some enormous TV specials while you’re tucking into a Christmas turkey or winning your kin during Monopoly. If and when we conduct to squeeze a still moment, though, there are a few catch-up TV services that’ll play simply with your Chromecast. BBC iPlayer is an apparent choice in a UK, nonetheless it’s probable to tide both 4oD and ITV actor around a Chrome browser on any laptop or PC.

If we consider this year’s TV report looks flattering grim, there are tons of video on-demand services to keep we entertained. Netflix is a transparent frontrunner, nonetheless Now TV’s monthly passes (Movies and Entertainment) are accessible for streaming new releases.

For renting or shopping a unequivocally latest blockbusters, however, it’s tough to omit Google Play Movies. The use is Google’s answer to iTunes and has a opposite catalog that we can download and tide from both iOS and Android devices. Should we find a sold pretension to be too pricey, we can always try a competitors Blinkbox Movies and

Oh, and of march there’s always YouTube. Whatever you’re craving, be it professional documentaries or bizarre cartoons, a use has it in droves. Pretty many all is giveaway to watch, too, that is never a bad thing.


While we things a common faces with chop pies, some of a best sports teams in a universe will be going head-to-head. Boxing Day fixtures are a UK tradition, and we can locate all a Premier League movement this Christmas by streaming Sky Sports (via Now TV) or BT Sport to your TV regulating a Chromecast dongle. However, if American football is some-more your thing, there’s also NFL Game Pass for examination each pouch and touchdown.

Fun Games

Christmas and residence games go hand-in-hand, yet if you’re sleepy of rolling bones and pulling card around a kitchen table, Google’s Chromecast can offer a few TV-based alternatives. Monopoly Dash is a new take on a property-collecting classic, while Connect 4 Quads has we dropping discs in a familiar, despite practical grid. There’s also Simon Swipe, a digital incarnation of a classical memory game, and Wheel of Fortune, which… well, doesn’t unequivocally need an explanation, does it?

Big Web Quiz is another choice — baked adult by Google’s Creative Labs, it leans on a company’s Knowledge Graph to conjure adult fast, fun trivia quizzes for adult to 5 people. And, for those who like to bust some meant shapes on a dance floor, there’s a new instalment in a Just Dance franchise. The diversion doesn’t need a video diversion console or controller though: all of a moves are beamed to your TV from your smartphone, that annals your physique viewpoint in real-time (with varying levels of success).


Getting a family together during Christmas can be a ideal event to share your favourite snaps, both from new escapades and years left by. However, rather than crowding turn a tiny laptop, smartphone or tablet, we can use Google’s Chromecast to pull them to a large screen.

If we already possess an Android device, there’s a good possibility your photos and videos are already corroborated adult automatically to Google+. If so, we can launch a app, crop what’s in your library and simply set a slideshow regulating on your TV. If you’re not invested in Google’s print storage platform, Dayframe is a nifty choice for Android users. It lets we entrance photos from all sorts of opposite places, including Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Twitter and Flickr.

If we have a residence full of shutterbugs capturing gratifying photos this winter, Google’s Photowall app is a fun approach to move them all together. Once you’ve set adult a “wall” on your TV, anyone with a smartphone, inscription or laptop can minister photos to a energetic collage. It’s a elementary approach to share your best moments and a choice to loll on your images before they’re uploaded can be interesting for children in particular.

Everything Else

If we have a estimable film and/or TV collection stored locally, there are copiousness of ways to use Chromecast to siphon them to your flatscreen. Plex is substantially a many prolific, nonetheless there are several alternatives such as Videostream (Android only), MediaBrowser and BubbleUPnP. Most of them follow a same simple premise: we use server program on your PC or Mac to organize your personal media and make it accessible for streaming on other devices, including a Chromecast.

If we only wish to tide a videos, song and photos stored on your Android phone or tablet, AllCast is an easier solution. If your device happens to be on this list, we can also abandon a app wholly and tide your device’s shade regulating Google’s Chromecast app. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many options for iOS users. Some, such as Photo Cast, are ideally functional, yet they’re never going to win an Apple Design Award.

It’s also value observant that if we wish to tide a webpage, we competence be improved off regulating a Cast extension on your laptop or PC. And should your Chromecast go down a charge with a rest of a family, we can also set adult guest mode, that lets them control a calm on your TV yet wanting to bond to your WiFi network. Happy streaming (and Christmas)!

[Image credits: Ronnie Macdonald and Thomas Hawk, Flickr]

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