Google Watch

The latest news bites emanating from the Googleplex.

Google's Chromecast TV Dongle Gets a Chrome Experiment

Your Chromecast device can now be used to give a fun slide show on your TV using the photos on your smartphones and the phones of your friends using a cool app from Google's Chrome Experiments labs.

Google's innovative $35 Chromecast television dongle often gets cool new features, but a new add-on from Google's Chrome Experiments project is slated to be a big hit because it lets users wirelessly display the photos from their smartphones right onto the screen of their digital televisions.

That's the idea behind Photowall for Chromecast, a new Chrome Experiment that lets users collaborate with their pals to display smartphone photos onto a TV to create custom slideshows, according to Iain Tait, creative director for Google Chrome.

"We got excited about using the TV as a place for people to collaborate, so we started tinkering with ways for people to play with photos using their phones and tablets—like an interactive slideshow," wrote Tait in a March 24 post on the Google Chrome Blog.

"Setting up a Photowall is easy," wrote Tait. "You'll need to have a Chromecast plugged into your TV, then you can create a Photowall from your laptop, phone or tablet. Once you're set up, you and your friends can start sending photos directly to the big screen. When you're finished, a YouTube video of your Photowall is automatically generated, which is perfect for sharing with everyone who took part. The Photowall app for your iPhone, iPad, or Android device will be available starting today."

Chrome Experiments began in 2009, when Google unleashed the project as a showcase for creative Web experiments for its Chrome Web browser. The projects are contributed by people around the world. Most of the experiments are built with HTML5, Canvas, SVG and WebGL.

The new Chromecast-based Chrome Experiment was helped along by the February 2014 release of a Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK), which gave developers the needed tools to build a wide range of innovative software applications for the devices.

"If you're a developer and you want to make your own multi-screen experience, we hope you'll roll up your sleeves and start experimenting with Chromecast as well," wrote Tait.

Google will host a Google Developers Live Hangout in the next few weeks to share some behind-the-scenes tips for developers who might wish to undertake their own Chrome Experiments adventures.

Earlier in March, Google announced that the Chromecast devices will now be sold in Canada and 10 nations in Europe as the company expands the global reach of the low-cost video-streaming devices. This may be a perfect storm for developers who are seeking new revenue streams for their creations.