A new Chromecast update is currently being rolled out by Google that updates the Chromecast application on Android to version 1.8.22.
While many users are still on version 1.7.4, some can also already use the new functionality that the update introduces to the app.
It is now possible to configure custom backdrops using the application. The application supported the casting of photos and images before but only in form of applications such as Google+ which enabled you to view images on the TV.
The new backdrop feature on the other hand provides you with options to display custom backgrounds on the television.
Basically, it enables you to select what is being displayed on the screen when the Chromecast is not used. Instead of having to cope with whatever Google selects for you, you can now customize what is being displayed on your television.
Please note that support is also added to the iOS application.
If you are already running the most recent version of Chromecast, you can configure Backdrop in the following way:
It is furthermore possible to turn off the weather information that are displayed on the screen.
The only option to display custom photos that you select as backdrops is to use images from Google+ for that. You can turn off any other source so that only handpicked images are displayed, but as you can imagine, a Google+ account is required for that.
Backdrop support can be disabled again from any device that you enabled it for using the app.
You can download the Chromecast 1.8.22 apk from third-party sources and install it directly on your Android device if you don't want to wait until the update is distributed to your system by Google.
Sites like The Android Police offer the apk for download. There is risk involved with downloading Android apps from third-party sources and it is usually not worth it unless you desperately need the functionality the update or app offers.
The update is not listed on the official Chromecast app page on Google Play yet.
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