We told you back in June that ultrasonic pairing would be coming to Chromecast, and today the technology has officially arrived. Without any WiFi connections involved at all, Google has now given the green light for guests to be able to connect to your Chromecast and cast what they please.
It was one of the most unfortunate facts about the Chromecast: if you wanted to let your friends shoot their favorite YouTube video to the TV or play a Netflix show from their phone, you first had to go through the hassle of connecting them to your WiFi network. The hardware, however, has been capable of getting around this problem since it was released. And while Google said the feature would be coming back at I/O, it didn’t make an official arrival until today:
You’re having friends over and before you know it, a battle has ensued in your living room over who can show the funniest YouTube video. Now, it’s even easier for your friends to cast to your TV without first having to connect to your WiFi. With the new guest mode feature, anyone with an Android device can cast to your TV as long as they’re in the same room.
Setting up guest mode is simple, and Google has already started rolling out a page within the Chromecast app to tell users about how it works:
It’s likely that the feature was actually enabled as part of yesterday’s Material Design update for the Chromecast app, but Google only recently flipped the switch server-side. To get started, simply open the latest version of the app, tap “Devices,” select your Chromecast, tap “Guest mode,” and slide the feature to the on position.
Right now, Google says that guest mode is only available for Android devices running Android 4.3 (build JB MR2) or higher, and that iOS devices aren’t supported. Additionally, this doesn’t mean that you can now just rock a Chromecast without a WiFi connection at all—you need to have a Chromecast on the same WiFi connection as your phone or computer to be able to set up the feature.