Since it launched the only way to connect to Chromecast was to use a device connected to the same Wi-Fi network. But what if it’s not your device, and you don’t fancy handing out your Wi-Fi password to your friends? That’s what Guest Mode is for.
First announced at Google I/O in June, and launching today, Guest Mode uses ultrasonic pairing to connect Chromecast to an Android device. That means if someone want’s to stream a video from their phone, you don’t have to connect them to your home network.
The sad news is that this new feature is exclusive to Android devices. According to Google there is no API on iOS that would allow Guest Mode, and Chromecast has never been compatible with Windows Phone. According to Chromecast product manager Jagjit Chawla, the decision was made to release the feature to Android phones as soon as possible in order to “gather user feedback, improve our back-end and find solutions” to the problem of implementing the feature on iOS.
Guest Mode is one of many features designed to make Chromecast even easier to use which, along with making the device more effective, is one of Google’s goals for 2015. What that will entail is unclear for now, but hopefully we’ll be seeing some great things in the next 12 months.