Google's Chromecast streamer learns some cool, new tricks

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SAN FRANCISCO — Google announced at Google I/O today that its $35 Chromecast streaming device has added some new features that are sure to please its users.

The most important new feature is the ability to mirror any images or video from your phone to your TV set. This can be done with one touch in Android.

There’s also a new “guest casting” feature. If a friend comes over and wants to stream a YouTube video from his or her phone, they can now do so without logging onto the house Wi-Fi network, as was previously required.

Google also announced a new feature called “Backdrop” that allows your TV display specific content while you’re not watching shows. This content can be chosen from your Android phone, and can include Google Earth images, art from sites like Getty, and weather.

Backdrop rolls out later this summer. The other features will go into beta mode in the next few weeks, Google says.

Google says the new features will be supported on Samsung and LG TV sets, among others.

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