How to Use Google Chromecast on Android and iOS

Google Chromecast connected to a device to cast media to a screen.
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The Google Chromecast media device streams content, but the Chromecast differs from other streaming devices because the content comes from a mobile device. You then ‘cast’ it to a TV through the Chromecast player. In essence, the Chromecast works like a transmitter between the streaming video or audio provider and the TV via a smartphone.

The Chromecast device is plugged into the HDMI port on your TV and is powered by a USB cable. The Chromecast app on your smartphone can be used to access streamed media content from not only Google Play and Google Music, but also from other popular content providers such as Netflix, YouTube, Disney, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Pandora, HBO NOW/HBO GO, History, ESPN and Sling TV. When using an iOS device, however, it is not possible to stream content from Amazon Video. You'll also need an account from any service provider that you want use to stream content.

Setting Up Google Chromecast on your iPad, iPhone, or Android

Chrome fob

Melanie Grano

Despite there being seven steps, setting up your Chromecast device is really quite simple.

  1. Plug the Chromecast dongle into the HDMI port on the TV and connect the USB power cable either into a compatible port on the TV or to a power outlet.
    Note: if it is a Chromecast Ultra dongle, the USB port does not provide enough power to maintain the dongle so it needs to be connected to an outlet.
  2. Go to Google Play Store or the Apple app store on your mobile device and get the Google Home app. The majority of Android devices have Chromecast pre-installed.
  3. Turn on your TV. In Google Home, select Devices which is located in the top right-hand corner. The app will proceed to take you through the relevant steps to set up Chromecast.
  4. Towards the end of the setup process, there will be a code on the app and on the TV. They should match and if they do, select Yes.
  5. On the next screen, choose a name for your Chromecast. There is also the option to adjust privacy and guest options at this stage.
  6. Connect Chromecast to the Internet network. Get a password from your mobile device or input manually.
    Note: you will need to use the same network for both the mobile device app and the Chromecast dongle. It is recommended to sign in using your Google account to get the best access to all your content.
  7. If you’re a first timer to Chromecast, select the tutorial and Google Home will show you how casting works.

How to Cast Content to Chromecast With Your iPad, iPhone, or Android

Chromecast

Google

Turn on the TV, making sure it is switched to the correct input, and the mobile device.

  1. Open the Google Home app, go to the media or audio streaming provider you want to use, i.e. Netflix, and select the content you want to watch or listen to. Tap the cast button to play.
    Note: some video apps require you to start the video before the content is cast. Therefore, the cast button will appear on the toolbar.
  2. If you have different casting devices, make sure you’ve chosen the correct casting device on which to view your content. When you tap the cast button, if you have different casting devices, Chromecast will list the devices for you to select the correct one.
  3. Once the content has been cast onto your TV, use your mobile device as a remote control for volume, starting the video or audio and more. To stop watching the content, tap the cast button again and select disconnect.

Mirroring Your iPad or iPhone to the TV via Chromecast

Man mirroring iPad mini to television to show home movies.
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On the surface, it is not possible to mirror an iPad or iPhone directly to the TV. However, it is possible to use AirPlay mirroring from a mobile device to a PC, then using Google’s Chrome desktop you can mirror to the TV using an app.​

  1. Connect the mobile device, Chromecast, and PC to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Install an AirPlay receiver app, for example, LonelyScreen or Reflector 3, onto the PC.
  3. Launch Google Chrome and from the Menu, click on Cast.
  4. Click the arrow next to Cast to. Click Cast desktop and select the name of your Chromecast.
  5. To mirror the mobile device, run the AirPlay receiver you’ve downloaded.
  6. On the iPad or iPhone, swipe up from the button to display the Control Centre and tap AirPlay Mirroring.
  7. Tap the AirPlay receiver to start mirroring the screen.

The display on the iPad or iPhone is now mirrored to the PC, Chromecast, and the TV. However, there will be a short time lag when you perform an action on your mobile device before it appears on the PC, and again on the TV. This will cause a problem when watching a video or listening to audio. 

There is a recent issue when using Google Chromecast and Google Home devices. Some Wi-Fi networks are crashing principally due to the Home device sending high levels of data packets in a short space of time which causes routers to crash.

The problem is related to recent updates of the Android OS, Google Apps, and their relevant cast feature. Google has confirmed that they are currently working on a solution to resolve the problem.