We got a Chromecast back in 2014 and while I thought it was a neat device, it ended up in my old gadget box in the closet.
Now that we have Android phones, I pulled it out again. Our new phones combined with all the improvements they’ve made to the software in the last 3 years has really made a difference. This thing is awesome!
The basic idea is that when you’re watching a video or listening to audio on your phone, you press a button and it is “cast” to the Chromecast device that is hooked to your TV. The Chromecast then takes over and plays the video. You can use your phone to browse around and it won’t interrupt the video (though you can also use your phone as a remote control to pause, fast forward, etc.)
I’m amazed at how many apps support this! The obvious ones like YouTube work great, but so does Spotify, my favorite podcast app, and even our security camera app. Duplication of a computer screen to the Chromecast also works infinitely better than it used to. Chromecast doesn’t support Amazon Video (or vice versa… whatever… Google and Amazon are fighting), but I can play a video on my desktop and cast it to the TV. It works great. Granted that’s a limited use scenario since we have other devices hooked up to the TV that play Amazon Video, but it’s cool that it works.
If you have Android or iOS and you have need for an easy way to show pictures, video and audio from your phone onto your TV, Chromecast should be on your shopping list. It’s so cheap it’s almost a no-brainer.