Sorry Chromecast users, but from now on you’ll need WiFI access to cast content from your phone.
According to 9to5Google, the streaming adaptor no longer supports “guest mode,” which enabled users to cast from your phone to your screen without connecting to WiFi. This is confirmed on a Chromecast Help page, which said the only way for guests to cast content from their Android or iOS device is “by connecting to the host’s Wi-Fi network.”
Guest mode was a convenient feature for users who wanted to stream content, say, at an Airbnb, or in a hotel room, since it didn’t require any access to the WiFi network. Instead, Chromecast would emit its own WiFi and Bluetooth beacon, creating a unique network for casting or you could enable guest mode by entering a four-digit pin shown on the screen. The guest mode setting has also been removed from Chromecast settings on the Google Home app.
Google hasn’t shared any explanation as why this genuinely useful feature was been removed from Chromecast, although it might be for security reasons since unrestricted access to screen casting is hard to manage or regulate. But that still leaves the question of why now, after almost 10 years of existence.
In the grand tradition of moving fast and breaking things, Google does have a penchant for launching and then killing products, which proves the company isn’t reluctant to ruthlessly cut products that no longer serve its needs. Alas, maybe that’s the only explanation we’ll ever get. But from now on, you’ll have to be that person always asking for the WiFi password.