Chromecast With Android TV And Remote Control – Learn How It Works

Chromecast With Android TV And Remote Control – Learn How It Works

If you are a streaming junkie, then you already know some of the best sites to stream your favorite shows. Google, however, jumped into the streaming game in 2013 when they introduced Chromecast. You can watch TV shows and movies using its high resolution of up to 1080p.

You can also listen to music through its entertainment center that has an excellent sound system. Your tablet, phone, or laptop are used as the launching sites for entertainment and as the remotes to control what you will be seeing or hearing on the TV screen.

  • You Can Stream Videos
  • How Does It Work?
  • In Simpler Terms
  • Chromecast vs. Chromecast With Google TV
  • The Chromecast Remote
  • Google Assistant Integration
  • Google Home – Your Ticket To Everything
  • Finding That Google Chromecast Extension
Image Source: Pocket Lint

You Can Stream Videos

As mentioned this is strictly a streaming system that allows you to stream videos. You are required to buy it from the Google Play Store.

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There are, however, many other top content providers that work with it as well including Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO/HBO NOW, ESPN, Disney, Sling TV, History, NBA, YouTube, and more.

It is important to understand that buying Chromecast doesn’t necessarily give you access to all content. Just like buying a TV doesn’t give you free access to all TV shows.

You have to pay for most of them. So, with Chromecast, you will still be required to pay for the accounts for which you wish to stream.

You Can Also Stream Audio Files

Chromecast allows you to play music from many different services such as Spotify, Pandora, Google Music, and iHeart Radio.

With Chromecast, you can play these platforms through your tv.

How Does It Work?

Chromecast helps in getting things to your TV screen from any remote device you have in your home.

Image Source: Cord Cutters – Gadget Hacks

They do this by use of the Discovery And Launch Protocol – DIAL. It was developed jointly with YouTube and Netflix, but Google owns it.

DIAL was actually initially launched on Google TV. However, it has now been integrated into other devices and apps by many different manufacturers and content providers.

How Does DIAL Work?

The DIAL service actually uses the SSDP, Simple Service Delivery Protocol, version 1.1 that is defined by the universal plug and play.

This allows anyone using the DIAL system to locate a DIAL server that runs in the same network.

Other components such as DIAL REST are then accessed through query and launched to stop applications such as HTTP from requesting client’s devices to the server.

In Simpler Terms

Essentially, you are using your smartphone, tablet, or other smart devices to tell the Chromecast what to do.

Image Source: Android World

You aren’t sending the media from one device to the next; you simply tell the Chromecast to use its own internet connection to find that piece of media on the network and play it itself.

The only exception is through mirroring. This is a lot more active than your device simply sending a set of instructions to the Chromecast to follow.

Instead, your device is actively streaming its display to the Chromecast, which then displays it on the TV, so you can’t put your device to sleep or unlock it without the feed going down.

Mirror Your Android Device And PC Screens To Your TV

If you are using a Chrome Browser with your Windows laptop, or you have the Google Home app on your phone, you can mirror the entire screen to your TV.

For example, this would enable you to watch a video that is only available on the internet or read your email by displaying it on your TV. Google also created the Google Cast screen-sharing.

This is a technology that works with DIAL to add more functions. This further developed the Google Cast SDK to add relevant functions to third-party apps.

Chromecast vs Chromecast With Google TV

The main difference you’ll be looking at here is the distinct advantages that Chromecast with Google TV offers over simply used Chromecast.

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For a few extra dollars, you’ll get access to a bunch of applications and an entire interface and framework that makes navigation far more straightforward.

You won’t just be relying on the Chromecast itself for support anymore, as you’ll have access to more than 6,000 Android TV apps.

There’s a full-on remote control you can use aside from your smartphone. Your experience is also more elevated, as you’ll get access to 4K video quality, Dolby Vision, and HDR10.

What Happened To Chromecast Ultra?

Google stopped working on and selling Chromecast Ultra, which was pricier and could get you those 4K resolutions and full HDR color which you can now get with Chromecast with Google TV.

It has been superseded, in other words, by a much better version that isn’t as expensive anymore. For those who care about history, it is worth noting the two devices are practically identical.

You had access to the same collection of channels and functionality, with the only significant difference being that Chromecast Ultra had a built-in ethernet port. It also needed its external power supply.

The Chromecast Remote

A relatively recent item, in the past, there never was a dedicated controller for the Chromecast. However, with Chromecast with Google TV, they pack an actual remote control.

Image Source: The Verge

You can use it if you don’t want to use your device while using the Chromecast. Some unique advantages come with using the remote, though it is ultimately optional and a preference thing.

The remote controls your TV’s volume, inputs, and power and also rounds out the package for the classic and traditional “TV watching gear.”

The Main Attractions

It just makes sense that you’d have a remote control with your TV. The two go hand-in-hand.

The main attraction of using a remote is actually to get you off your phone, which can be a big distraction when trying to watch something.

Imagine going to change the volume during a quiet scene, and you start checking your messages, and you suddenly miss a crucial moment in the story.

Google Assistant Integration

If using your device or even a dedicated remote from Google themselves is neither your style, then thankfully, there is a third option that you can use to control Chromecast.

Image Source: PC Mag

Google has built-in integration with their Google Assistant, allowing you to control Chromecast using voice commands.

Previously, you would have to route your Chromecast through a Google Home device, but it’s far easier to activate with the added integration.

Just connect your Chromecast to the same network your smart device is on, and you can then cast music and videos using the vocal commands. Google also has more in-depth setup instructions.

How Do You Set It Up Correctly?

Chromecast actually runs a pared-down version of the Chrome Browser. All the apps on the device are web applications that can easily receive the HTTP requests and act on them immediately.

To set up Chromecast, you should have already installed a Chrome extension first, depending on the devices you will use as a media launcher.

Once it has been set up, you can then use third-party apps such as Netflix and YouTube. These are used to do the actual control and launch of the content you wish to watch.

Google Home – Your Ticket To Everything

Surprisingly and somewhat confusingly, there isn’t an actual dedicated app that you can use for Google Chromecast.

Image Source: USA Today

Instead, you use Google Home, which has all the functionality built into it, allowing you to control your Chromecast streams actively.

Using this app makes it far easier to learn and understand how Chromecast works, at least from a user’s standpoint.

Integrated Widgets

Google Home provides you with handy widgets, which are invaluable for quickly accessing and controlling the stream.

You can use these widgets to pause and play, fast forward and rewind, and – with a bit of difficulty as this part isn’t too intuitive – scan through the progress bar of videos and movies.

Finding That Google Chromecast Extension

We mentioned that you should have that Chrome extension installed first before you try anything with your Chromecast. Finding it can be a little tricky, especially if you don’t quite know where to look.

Image Source: Slash Gear

However, the answer is very simple (any annoying). They don’t tell you the extension is already built into the latest versions, so you don’t have to download and install anything.

If you don’t see the Chromecast button in the menu bar of your Chrome, click on the three dots to see the full menu, and you’ll find the ‘Cast’ option.

You can select to see all available devices to send to your TV. You can right-click on the Cast logo and select ‘Always Show’ to pin it to your menu bar.

The Steps To Getting It To Work: In Short

There are only 3 steps to follow. Firstly, you’ll want to connect your Chromecast to your TV and plug it in, switching the input on your TV to the port for the Chromecast.

Next, you’ll connect the device to the internet using Google Home. Finally, all you need to do is open an app supported by the Chromecast and cast it on your television.

You can tell if the app is supported by the little casting icon. You can see this on the edge of the screen of the video. You can also explore all the apps if you have Chromecast with Google TV.

Summary

There are many apps that work with set-top boxes and gaming systems, but Chromecast is the best. You can use it to watch different videos, and it also works with audio which makes it a must-have.

It is very easy to use and set up. Just follow the instructions given and you are good to go. So, if you have been wondering about Chromecast, we hope that we have helped you understand it.

How to Get Free Wi-Fi on your Mobile Anywhere

How to Get Free Wi-Fi on your Mobile Anywhere

Sometimes you may find yourself in a difficult situation that requires you to use the internet, particularly when traveling. However, using a mobile data connection or roaming can have high costs that may hurt your wallet. 

As a result, you may find yourself asking if there was a way for you to know where to find a free Wi-Fi connection wherever you go. Lucky for you, we discovered a great way of finding WiFi hotspots all over the world that will cost you absolutely nothing. 

The WiFi Map app will make sure that you can get a connection wherever you may find yourself. Read on to find out more about this amazing app that you can install on your mobile device.

  • About the WiFi Map App
  • How WiFi Map Works and Key Features
  • Upgrading to WiFi Map Pro
  • Get the eSIM from WiFi Map
  • How to Download the WiFi Map Pro App
Image Source: LinkedIn | WiFi Map

About the WiFi Map App

WiFi Map is a mobile app that serves as a database of over 150 million WiFi hotspots worldwide. Using the app, you can connect to these hotspots for free and get actual passwords shared by owners of secured networks who are part of the WiFi Map community.

The database was built through crowdsourcing from its global user base and business establishments. It is available to both Android and iOS users.

Image Source: TechRadar

When you’re using public WiFi, the app will function as a fast and secure virtual private network (VPN) that will keep your device safe by encrypting your internet traffic and disguising your online identity. This prevents hackers from tracking your online activities and stealing your personal information.

What’s more encouraging how the app brings out a sense of community with WiFi Map users willing to share their WiFi connections to people who are in need of internet access in their areas. 

History of WiFi Map

In 2012, Kenlo Group LTD, an Israeli company that creates apps for iOS, came up with the idea of developing an app that would “Empower people worldwide with FREE Internet access”.

To achieve this, the company entered into a joint venture with a team from Belarus to build what would come to be known as WiFi Map. A new company, named WiFi Map LLC, was founded by Denis Sklyarov, Igor Goldenberg, Dzmitry Plashchynski, and Kirill Kudin.

The app has been recognized by different organizations as one of the best travel apps, including CNN, Business Insider, Esquire, and Travel Weekly.

How WiFi Map Works and Key Features

WiFi Map scans the area around you for available WiFi connections and gives you the exact location of the hotspots that appear on the app. Use the app’s map navigation to guide you to these hotspots through your device’s integrated GPS.

Image Source: Worldwide Insure

Since it’s a crowdsourced app, people can add certain connections to the app so others can use them. Usually, public WiFi hotspots are also listed, such as those at restaurants, coffee shops, and other business establishments. 

Aside from these, users of the app can also add their own private connections to allow other people to use them if they’re in the area.

You can also share information on these WiFi hotspots with your friends on social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This will allow them to quickly access these networks instead of trying to search themselves.

Offline Maps and Bonus Features

You can also save the maps so you can access them offline. This means that if you save the map for a particular city, you’ll always have access to it even if you’re not yet connected to the internet. 

This is a great feature for people that travel a lot and want to save a little money by not using their data connection. The app also has its own speed test that you can use. 

This will let you see the strength of a connection so you know what to expect and not waste time on a slow network. The speed test feature is great for when you want to do something specific online, such as downloading files or streaming content.

Upgrading to WiFi Map Pro

If you’re tired of the ads on the basic app and want to have additional features, you can upgrade to the Pro version. With WiFi Map Pro, you will not only be able to remove ads that annoy you, but you will also have additional features not available on the basic version.

Image Source: BusinessTech Weekly

The Pro version gives you access to offline maps and VPN servers in several locations. 

You will be able to run up to five concurrent VPN connections using a single account, which means you can use multiple devices to connect to the internet using the app as long as your Pro account is logged into those devices.

You can upgrade to WiFi Map Pro for $29.99 annually. Currently, the upgrade is being offered at a 20% discount so you can get it for only $23.99 a year.

Privacy Policy

Just like any other app that you install on your device, you should be aware of what information the developer gets from you through the use of the app. According to its Privacy Policy, WiFi Map LLC collects information about users and their mobile devices and networks.

This information includes email address, Google, Facebook, or other social networking profile to the extent available, age range, country, language and time zone, the make, model, and operating system of your device, among more.

Other information collected includes the name of your mobile carrier and speed test information about the performance of your mobile network and the other applications installed on your mobile device.

Get the eSIM from WiFi Map

Aside from the Pro upgrade, WiFi Map also offers an eSIM (embedded SIM card), which allows you to connect to the internet without having to access a Wi-Fi network or using roaming services. eSIMs are data-only and do not come with a phone number.

Image Source: Product Hunt

This is particularly useful to travelers who will visit countries or areas where Wi-Fi may be scarce. To go online using the eSIM, you only need to select a data plan that suits your need, scan a QR code, and start connecting to the internet. 

Each plan, which is valid for 30 days, will give you 1 GB of data, which is good for either 500,000 instant messages, 5,000 sent and received emails, 2,000 photos for social media, 300 voice calls, 10 hours of web browsing, or 50 hours of map navigation.

Pricing of data plans for the eSIM varies per destination. Plans for countries in Europe cost €4.99 each while the Australia & New Zealand plan costs €9.99. The most expensive are the Africa and Latin America plans, which cost €32.99 each. 

Compatibility

The WiFi Map eSIM can only be used on smartphones that support the eSIM technology, such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, Google Pixel, and iPhone 11’s and 12’s. 

Remember that your smartphone must be unlocked because network-locked phones are restricted to their wireless providers.

Some countries may also have geo-restrictions for using an eSIM, such as in China, where iPhones cannot use eSIMs, or in Hong Kong and Macau where only a select model of iPhones are compatible with eSIMs.

How to Download the WiFi Map Pro App

Whether you are an Android user or an Apple device user, you can easily download and install the WiFi Map app. For Android users, simply go to the Google Play Store and search for the app under the name “Free WiFi Passwords, Offline maps & VPN. WiFi Map.”

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Once you find the correct app, hit the Install button and it will begin downloading. Once the download is done, follow the instructions to set up your account.

For iOS users, go to the Apple App Store, search for the app, and you will find it under “WiFi Map TripBox: Find Hotspot‬.” Simply tap ‘Get’ to start downloading.

Grant any required permissions during the download process. Once complete, you can then launch the app.

How to Connect Using the WiFi Map App

The first step to connecting to a Wi-Fi network is to open the WiFi Map app on your device. 

Then, search for an available WiFi hotspot in your area using the app and go to the nearest one

Lastly, connect to the WiFi hotspot using the information provided in the app and enjoy your free access!

Summary

For people who love to travel, this app can be a real lifesaver because not all people can afford to use their mobile data internationally, and we all know that roaming costs an arm and a leg. 

Being able to access the internet or offline maps, especially in remote areas could sometimes be the difference between life and death during emergencies. So if you are planning on traveling or just want to save on mobile data, download and install this app today!