Chromecast 'Backdrop' lets you customize slideshow content for your TV

Google is dramatically expanding the capabilities of the Chromecast, and part of that expansion is a new feature called "Backdrop" that shows beautiful imagery on your TV when it is not actively casting content. Starting this summer with an update of the Chromecast app, you'll be able to open the app and customize what pictures show up on your TV when it is idle.

You can personalize the feed to match your own interests and tastes, add your own photos into the mix and even Google+ photo albums. For personalization, there are different categories to choose from, such as news, lifestyle, Google+ featured photos, museum artwork and more. Every topic is curated to make sure images are of the highest quality — and if one catches your eye, you can use Voice Search on your device to learn more about it with the prompt "What's on my Chromecast?".

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • Even my LED TV has a limited lifetime, why would I decide to spend that limited time using my TV as a picture frame or art installation? I might use it when company is over but not very frequently.
    Maybe some people plan to buy a new TV every few years?
  • LED TV's have a half life of about 20 years. I doubt you'll keep your TV that long.
  • Your TV is not an "LED TV". It's an LCD TV with an LED backlight. The lifespan of your TV is likely to be tied to the lifespan of the backlight which with LEDs is likely to be far longer than the usefulness of the set. Back when the backlight technology was CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp), then you could argue that you need to conserve usage, not so much with LED.
  • I hope they have it so you can put the pictures on while casting on Google Play Music. I like the fireplace as an option, but I would like it to be a picture slideshow.
  • So... it's a screensaver.
  • Yup! A screensaver.
    Actually this is great! Yes I'm not leaving the TV on all the time, but the screensaver on Chromecast was always a nice touch IMO. Especially as family didn't always turn off TV after Netflix or other content, nice to have good looking pictures show up. (I also have it on same HDMI switch with xbox... so when xbox not in use, the chromecast kicks in.) And I've asked Google to allow our own content or picture feeds for awhile... When friends/family come over, I often have Chromecast on playing music as people arrive, then will stop it as we converse/etc... nice that it will now be able to show MY pictures optionally... and I leave it on in that case because inevitably someone will say "did you see that Youtube video?" and they can cast it right to the big screen (and now without wifi password!) All in all, I think this is a great addition!
  • Completely agreed on all points, and especially on them talking about a certain video in conversation and now I can just have them directly cast it to my TV!
  • I have a Chromecast and my problem isn't just that I don't want a screensaver, its that their screensaver actually burns enough data to make a difference on my cable bill. Google it, some people post as high at 28mb an hour. It adds up but sadly for all this "AMAZING" ability, it doesnt have a simple OFF button.