Connecting to your friend’s Chromecast just got a whole lot easier. Google has updated the Chromecast App for Android to include a new guest mode which was unveiled at this year’s Google I/O developers conference last summer. The new feature allows anyone to cast content from their Android device (running Android 4.3 or up) to a nearby Chromecast without having to connect to a wireless network. The feature can be enabled by going into the settings menu of the Android Chromecast app. No word on when or if this feature is heading to the iOS version of the Chromecast app, but it’d be a surprise if it didn’t show up at some time in the near future.
So how does this magical guest mode work? Here’s a rundown from Google:
When guest mode is turned on, Chromecast emits a special WiFi beacon. When a Google Cast Ready app is launched on your guest’s mobile device, that device detects the presence of the special WiFi beacon and shows the Cast icon in the application. Upon tapping the Cast icon, casting to a ‘Nearby Device’ will be listed as an available option.
Your Chromecast then generates a random 4-digit PIN that is required to cast to it using guest mode. When a device nearby tries to connect, the Chromecast automatically transfers that PIN using short, inaudible audio tones. If the audio tone pairing fails, your guest will be given the option to connect manually by entering the 4-digit PIN found on your Chromecast backdrop and in the Chromecast app.”
Pretty nifty, right? Give guest mode a try and let us know how you like it.