Jun 25, 2015

How to cast Chromebook desktop through Chromecast?

I know that there are extensions to cast whatever is in your browser via a Chromecast, but is there a way to cast the entire desktop. Specifically, I have photos, music and even a movie or two saved on my Chromebook (I have 32GB of storage + SD card), and it would be nice to be able to cast those instead of hooking up a HDMI cable. Is it possible to cast outside of the browser on a Chromebook, and if so, what do I need to do?
This feature has been spotted on the Chrome OS canary channel. Chrome has a number of version, in descending order of stability: Stable>Beta>Dev>Canary. This should give you some idea of where canary fits, it is a step back from even the dev channel, which is significantly less stable than Beta. I personally use Beta, and that allows me to get features early with a minimal sacrifice of stability. Dev allows you to try new features even earlier, although there can be a significant decrease in stability. Canary gets you the cutting edge, but with a major sacrifice in stability. Google doesn't even make it an obvious option. So, even though casting the desktop is possible in canary, I do not suggest going down that road for 99% of users.

Still, what this does tell us is that Google is working to integrate desktop casting into Chrome and are at the point where they are testing it out. There will still be some time before it reaches the stable release, but hopefully we will see it in beta within the next few months.

There is a rather awkward way of casting your desktop now using your Android phone or tablet, detailed by Gerhard von Reekum at OMGchrome in the comment section of a related article:

"1) connect your Android phone to the Chromecast and cast the screen (it will also cast the audio)
2) Show and Control your Chromebook by using the "Share this computer for other users to see and control" option of Chrome Remote Desktop from a Windows machine (this is necessary, as you won't have access to this option from the Chrome Remote Desktop Android app, so therefore the next step:)
3) As you now have the Chromebook displayed and controllable on the desktop of your Windows machine, you can use the Chrome Remote Dekstop Android app on your phone to 'take over' the desktop of your windows machine.
As your phone is casting to the Chromecast, your TV will now display the Chromebook (routed Chromebook=>Windows desktop=>Android phone=>Chromecast=>TV screen)."
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