The Google Chromecast has proven to be a successful little streaming stick, and now users can cast media without having to be on the same network.
Rishi Chandra, Chromecast director of product management, took to the Google IO 2014 stage to demo any Android device can cast media to the Chromecast stick.
There's also a new pairing method for devices. Rather than needing to be on the same Wi-Fi network, users can simply enter an onscreen pin and pair the devices together.
The new pairing method works even if the phone is running on a cellular connection. Google plans to roll out the new feature to Android users later this year.
In an even nicer touch the Chromecast will soon also support screen mirroring. All it takes is a couple of taps with the Chromecast app. Full-screen mirroring doesn't just work with the media but cloning users' entire Android experience to their big screen.
Chandra demoed on stage two neat mirroring features: Google Earth and the camera app.
Samsung, Nexus, HTC and LG are on the docket to support mirroring, and Google announced it would roll out as a beta to multiple devices over time.
One giant picture frame
Users that have always wanted to turn their home cinema screens into a massive picture frame will be able to do so with their Chromecast this summer. Chandra introduced Backdrop, a new Chromecast ambient experience that lets users display a wallpaper on their television sets.
Backdrop kicks in whenever the Chromecast isn't casting movies or music, and it can be set to pull images from the users Google+ account.
The new feature also has a set of filtered options that will automatically display Places to show different locations around the world. Alternately, users could set the Chromecast to display art, lifestyle, weather and news.
If Backdrop shows anything the user wants to learn more about, they can turn on the Chromecast app's built-in voice search to look up details on the item and relay the information to their device.
- In other big screen news Google announced Android TV