Chromecast with Google TV mixes the concepts of Chromecast dongles and Android TV devices. This means that they have both “Ambient Mode” and screen savers. We show you how to use both, which requires some digging.
To merge Chromecast and Android TV, Google moved a lot of things around. However, Google TV is built on Android TV, so all Android TV settings are still present. An example of this is the screen saver.
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Chromecast with screen saver from Google TV is called “Ambient Mode”
Google TV is still the core Android TV, so you can install third-party screensavers from the Google Play Store. However, Google has hidden the ability to change the screen saver on Chromecast with Google TV. We can still do that, but the method is indirect.
Before we dive into third-party screensavers, let’s customize the simpler ambient mode settings. Select your profile icon at the top right of the home screen.
Then select “Settings” from the pop-up menu.
Scroll down and select “System”.
Finally, select “Ambient Mode.”
You see three options here: Google Photos, Art Gallery and Experimental. Select one to use it.
- Google Photos: This must be set up via the Google Home app. Read our guide on how to do it.
- Art gallery: Several categories with different types of photography.
- Experimental: Turn on “Low Bandwidth Mode” to save data.
That’s all there is to changing Ambient Mode, but here things get a little complicated. “Ambient Mode” is actually just one of the possible screensavers you can use.
The ability to download a third-party screensaver is still available on Google TV – you just can’t do that from the Settings menu. You need to open the screen saver settings from the screen saver app you want to use.
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First we need to install a screensaver app. Installing an app on a Google TV device is not as easy as opening the Play Store. Read our guide for installing apps and using screensaver as a keyword.
Then open the app. This is where the process will be different, depending on the screen saver app you want to use. What we are looking for is an option to set the app as a screen saver. Here are some examples of some screensaver apps.
And you will notice that some apps use the term “Daydream”, which was the old term for the screensaver. Keep an eye on it too.
Whatever setting is highlighted, you should take it to the Ambient Mode screen by selecting it.
We can now see that “Ambient Mode” is simply a screen saver that is enabled by default. Select “Screensaver” to continue.
Now you can select the screen saver app you want. Making the selection can open the screen saver settings for that app.
Finally, you can decide how many minutes of inactivity you want to allow before turning on the screen saver. Select “When to start.”
Select one of the steps.
It’s weird that Google has hidden the screensaver options, but at least it’s still possible to use them.
RELATED: How to use Google Photos as screensaver on Google TV