Google Adds Ambient Mode to Chromecast

Posted on July 17, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos, Smart Home with 3 Comments

Google this week updated the software for its Chromecast devices to support a new Ambient Mode that displays when no content is being cast.

“Make your TV a reflection of you and your interests,” a Google support document explains. “Ambient Mode allows you to personalize what’s displayed on your Chromecast home screen even when not casting. All images and content will be specifically curated for the home.”

Those familiar with Chromecast will note that Ambient Mode replaces a previous feature called Backdrop. But it improves on Backdrop in a number of important ways. And you can now choose between Photo frame (a photo slideshow from your favorite Google Photos albums), Art gallery, and an Experimental option that lets you access content from Facebook and Flickr, and enable a new low-bandwidth mode. You can also optionally show the weather and the time while in Ambient mode.

As before, these changes are made via the Google Home app.


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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Google Adds Ambient Mode to Chromecast”

  1. pecosbob04

    What a concept! Now let me suggest an even more awesome idea. Start with a screen full of long green grass. Then have an animated Simpsonesque character riding an animated red yard tractor enter from the upper left hand corner. As he proceeds from side to side and down the screen the grass would be much shorter and well trimmed in the tractors wake. You could even make it seasonally aware and sub in snow and snowblower. Leaf raker and broadcast seeder as appropriate.

    • Winner

      In reply to pecosbob04:

      I have an even better idea. Take a field of rolling hills, covered in green grass, lighted by the sun. It containes a blue sky with a few wispy clouds. The clouds cast shadows on the lit green grass.

      It's the Windows XP desktop background!

  2. Daekar

    You know, I've never understood this kind of feature, on ANY platform. It requires that you leave the TV on all the time, waste power, and shorten the life of the device... who does that in this age of environmental awareness?

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