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Unlock Guest Mode and Mirroring features for Chromecast

Here's how to cast to Chromecast without being on the same network, and enable mirroring on devices that aren’t currently supported

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Chromecast is a media streaming adapter from Google that lets you directly stream content to any HDMI-equipped TV, by pairing it with a tablet, smartphone or computer. The only sticking point here is that the controlling device must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as Chromecast for it to work. This is fine when you’re using it on your own, but having to hand out your Wi-Fi password to visitors is an unncessary hassle.

Google has a guest mode planned that will make this easier, but they’ve yet to implement it. You can enable this guest mode feature early, thanks to the #Configurator for Root app. This app can enable hidden features or settings in certain Google apps, by modifying the overrides table in the gservices.db database. This method requires a rooted Android, but not a rooted Chromecast.

This tutorial will show you also how to enable a second hidden feature: mirroring. Mirroring lets you view the contents of your device onto a big screen by casting your Android screen to a connected TV.

Currently, mirroring is in www. If this feature isn’t available on your device, you may be able to enable it ahead of time via an experimental Mirror Enabler fix. This fix only works on devices running KitKat 4.4.2 or higher.

This tutorial is taken from Android Magazine issue 46’s Hacker Zone, on sale 24 December 2014. To ensure you never miss a copy of Android Magazine, buy it here or subscribe now.

 

  1. Step1

    Enable unknown sources

    Head over to the Google Play store and download the free #Configurator for Root app. Ensure your Android device is set up to enable apps from unknown sources, by opening your device’s Settings and giving Security a tap. If Unknown Sources isn’t already selected then just tap to enable it.

  2. Step2

    Download Chromecast

    If you don’t already have a file explorer installed on your device then open the Google Play store and search for the free ES File Explorer app. Download it and open your device’s browser. Head over to Gapps Early and download the Chromecast app.

  3. Step3

    Install Chromecast

    Once the Chromecast APK has finished downloading, boot up ES File Explorer and navigate to your device’s Download folder. Find the Chromecast APK, tap it, and then confirm that you want to install Chromecast. Launch the #Configurator for Root app. You’ll see several areas for entering text.

  4. Step4

    Kill option

    Tap Flag and enter: gms:cast:cast_nearby_device_scanner:is_enabled. Tap the Value field and enter True, then tap Configure. When prompted, grant #Configurator for Root superuser permissions. Tap the Optional (Kill processes) field, and enter the following: com.google.android.apps.chromecast.app. Tap Kill.

  5. Step5

    Check the Guest Mode

    The first time you launch your Chromecast app after entering this information into #Configurator for Root, you should be greeted by a ‘Share your TV with guest mode’ screen. Read the on-screen information, then tap ‘OK, got it’ and you’re ready to start using Chromecast’s guest mode.

  6. Step6

    Chromecast Mirroring

    You can use Chromecast’s mirroring functionality to cast the contents of your Android screen directly onto your TV. Mirroring is currently only available for certain devices, but if your device isn’t on the list you can still access mirroring via an experimental fix.

  7. Step7

    Back up your drive

    This is currently an experimental fix, so make sure your device is fully backed up before attempting it. You should also take the time to read and understand the full list of technical requirements and known supported devices at the XDA-Developers forum.

  8. Step8

    Install Mirror Enabler

    Download the Mirror Enabler APK. Once it’s finished downloading, launch your file explorer, navigate to your Download folder, and give MirrorEnabler.apk a tap. When prompted tap Install to begin installing the app.

  9. Step9

    Enable buttons

    Launch the Mirror Enabler app and tap each of its three Disabled buttons so they read Enabled instead. When prompted, grant Mirror Enabler the necessary superuser permissions. But, before your changes can take effect, you will need to reboot your device, so do this now.

  10. Step10

    Extra root options

    You are now ready to start mirroring your device. Just launch the Chromecast app and open its side menu by right-dragging on the screen. Tap Cast Screen, read the on-screen instructions and then you’re ready to start mirroring. All you need to do to get started is tap the blue Cast Screen button.

 

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