One of the many joys of owning a Chromecast is the ability for multiple devices to connect to it. This means if you have several people in front of your television, any of them with a smartphone or tablet can cast content to the screen, add videos to a Chromecast YouTube playlist or join in one of the Chromecast multiplayer games. The only problem is, for anyone to cast to your device, they need to be on your WiFi network, which is fine for people you trust with your life, but do you really want to give out your full WiFi password to a bunch of casual acquaintances who have just popped over for your first ever Chromecast party?
Thanks to Google’s last Chromecast update you can now strike the right balance between hospitality and trust by using the Chromecast Guest mode. This allows anyone in the same room as your Chromecast to cast to it without connecting to your WiFi network. All you have to do is go into the Device screen of your Chromecast settings and slide the Guest Mode option to On. The Chromecast does the rest for you.
The really clever thing is that you do have to be in the same room, there’s no danger of anyone walking past or sitting in the house next door using your Chromecast. This is because Guest Mode is shared using inaudible sounds transmitted by your Chromecast that contain a four digit PIN code.
Google promises that this ultrasonic sound will not go through walls, glass or fabric, so even if you live in a yurt you should be alright. Any Chromecast set to guest mode emits a special WiFi beacon, your phone or tablet will look for this beacon and determine if a guest mode enabled Chromecast is within casting distance (about 25 feet). If this audio pairing does fail due to the loud music at your massive Chromecast party, you do also have the option to manually enter the four digit PIN and connect guests that way, still much more secure than handing out your WiFi password.
As this is a relatively new feature, your Android device will have to be running Android 4.3 or higher, but why would you want people running an older version coming to your Chromecast party anyway? So another handy little feature on a device that goes from strength to strength, we’re looking forward to see what new features the next Google update brings us.
[Image via Russ Payne]