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Chromecast Home Screen May be About to Get Smarter

by Todd Haselton | April 8, 2014April 8, 2014 9:00 pm PST

Chromecast in the Woods - 01

Google’s Chromecast is super powerful, especially considering it only costs $35 to get started so long as you have an Android smartphone, an Android tablet or an iOS device. Since it was introduced, several new apps have been made available for the Chromecast, including HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Rhapsody, Napster, AllCast and plenty more. Google even recently added new options for live YouTube streaming and more. The company hasn’t made a lot of tweaks to the Chromecast in terms of what it provides when the home screen is splashed on your TV, however, and that may soon change.

A user on Reddit recently dug through some of the home screen source code for the Chromecast and noticed that Google has been referencing weather and PNG files, which may reference new support for showing the forecast on your TV or a gallery of photos. The latter is possible through a Photowall on iOS, but Google hasn’t yet made that an option for anyone with an Android tablet or smartphone. Weather, meanwhile, could be presented on the Chromecast home screen based on the current location of your Android device.

There’s no guarantee these features are coming to the Chromecast home screen but it seems probable, at least considering that the underlying code would have no reason to point to weather or photo data if the Chromecast isn’t going to use it. Hopefully Google adds even more features to splash screen, because right now it’s basically just a floating picture.

What if it could pull in your alerts, for example, and display them on your TV so long as your phone is connected but not streaming other media? That seems like a natural progression of the Chromecast. Maybe we’ll hear more during Google I/O in June.

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Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...