Chromecast is a wonderful device. The small and compact Google dongle allows users to ‘cast’ (stream) data from a number of devices directly to their big screens. Chromecast has support for most of the major entertainment apps like Netflix and even more location-specific apps like the BBC iPlayer (of course if you are in the UK). The biggest selling feature of Chromecast though (from the consumer perspective) is the price with the device selling for roughly £35. This is a significantly lower price than Amazon’s Fire TV or of course Roku 3. Yes, the latter two do have Quad and Dual-core processors (compared to Chromecast’s single-core processor) and additional features but if you want a cheap streaming option then there can be no arguing that Chromecast fits the bill.
The problem with Chromecast though is the times in-between streaming. You know, when you are searching for something to watch. Currently during these periods the Google dongle projects on to the screen an array of pleasant pictures. These are fine images and are all rather attractive images which would look good as wallpapers on any of your devices. But what if you want a little more customization or to personalize your device and experience? Well, Google have and are preparing for this. Back at Google’s annual I/O event Google did announce Chromecast will soon offer a ‘Backdrop’ feature which will allow users to choose the images that appear during the non-casting moments. These images can be chosen by the user based on the default offerings or users will be able to upload their own, stream from their Google+ account and so on.
The actual releasing of the Backdrop feature though has been taking its time. Since I/O very little details have been heard about Backdrop and in the time there have been updates rolling out for Chromecast. Well, hopefully that is all very close to changing. It now seems the listing for Backdrop is appearing on some users Chromecast devices. At present the feature is still not activated and it is increasingly likely that it won’t take full effect until Android L rolls out in the next few weeks and months. So for now users will still have to hold on but the fact that it is appearing on some devices at least does show the feature is on its way and getting closer…albeit in baby steps.