Getting all your gadgets to work together the way you want them to can be a much bigger headache than it should sometimes. It doesn’t have to be, though. Here’s one example: as a Mac user, how do you extend your desktop or use Airplay through your Google Chromecast device? This article will look at a fairly simple way to get this setup working right now.
Normally a Mac won’t let you cast (mirror) your whole desktop or a Google Chrome browser tab with a Chromecast device–not natively, anyway. You’ll need another application to get those parts to play together.
AirParrot 2 is an application that will allow you to mirror or extend your Mac desktop to your Chromecast. It will also let you use Airplay directly through your Chromecast. You can give AirParrot 2 a test run for seven days for free. After that, if you decide to purchase the app, it’s only $12.99.
Not only does Airparrot 2 let you extend your desktop, but can also share a single app to whatever device your Chromecast is connected to, where you can listen to audio tracks playing on your Mac, or cast media files directly from your Mac to your Chromecast device.
We find it’s a worthwhile investment, especially if you want to extend your Mac display or Airplay directly to your Chromecast device.
AirPlay to Chromecast from Your Mac
Why not give AirParrot 2 a shot? You can use it for seven days for free, so just head to the website, download it, and see if you like how it works. It’s not just for Mac either–you can get AirParrot 2 on your Windows computer or Chromebook, too. We’ll go over that further down, so keep reading.
Besides Chromecast, it’ll also work with Apple TV (with the AirParrot remote app, an additional $7.99 on iOS devices), Smart TVs, other computers in your house, and speakers. Pretty cool, right?
Here’s how to run it on your Mac:
- On the AirParrot 2 website, download the application for Mac.
- After the download has finished on your Mac, run the AirParrot 2 dmg.
- Next, drag AirParrot 2 app to the application folder shown on your display. This installs the app to your Applications folder.
- Go to Applications and locate AirParrot 2.
- Finally, fire it up. You’ll see the little parrot face icon in the menu bar at the top of your Mac display.
- When the app is in use, the parrot’s face changes color from black to green.
Now you can extend your Mac desktop or use Airplay with your Google Chromecast to expand your use of the Google Chromecast device even further than before. And you can do it all for a whole lot less than purchasing a brand new Apple TV.
If you’re using the free trial, you’ll notice an announcement about enjoying your trial version now and then. It gives you the website address and encourages you to get the full version of AirParrot 2. Apart from that, though, you get the full features of AirParrot 2 with the free trial version.
In terms of out-of-the-box compatibility without having to make a significant investment, we’ve found AirParrot 2 is the best companion to the Google Chromecast. Once the trial period is up, it’s definitely worth purchasing this application–it’s a no-brainer as far as we’re concerned.
Windows and Chromecast or AirPlay
You follow the same basic steps to get the AirParrot 2 application for Windows. First, navigate to the AirParrot 2 website. Once you’ve landed on the Windows AirParrot 2 download page, in the upper right-hand side, click the green “TRY” button. Once it’s downloaded, you can use AirParrot 2 free for a seven-day trial period.
- On the next page, you’ll click on the “for Windows” version. A drop-down box will appear on the screen. Select either 32 or 64 bit, depending on which version of the Windows operating system you’re running. The MSI file will then be downloaded to your browser.
- After the AirParrot 2 file is downloaded, double-click on it and accept the EULA. Then, click the Install button.
- Allow the AirParrot application to make changes to your device and click the “Yes” button. Then the install wizard will run. When it’s completed, click on the “Finish” button.
- The AirParrot 2 application icon should now be displayed on your Windows desktop. Double-click on it to start the app. Next, click the “Try AirParrot 2” button.
- You’ll see the AirParrot 2 user interface pop up with a notification from the Windows taskbar area. Click on the little green parrot face. Your Google Chromecast should now appear in the “To” area. Choose what you want to do in the “From” section above that. Then, select your Chromecast’s name from the list, and you’re in business.
The ability to extend the desktop from your Windows computer is still in the works, but it’s coming soon. What AirParrot 2 and Windows can currently do is mirror (Airplay) your display to Chromecast, share only an application through your Chromecast device, play audio through Chromecast, and share files to where your Chromecast is hooked up.
If you want hands-free control of AirParrot 2 with your Windows computer and Apple TV you must have an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad with iOS 8 or higher. You will need to buy and install the AirParrot remote application, which is $7.99. That will allow you to use the remote app to control AirParrot 2 on your computer.
However, you can use Airplay from your Windows computer to your Apple TV just as you would with the Chromecast instructions we’ve provided.
After you’ve paired the AirParrot remote app with the AirParrot 2 application on your computer, you’ll have total control of your PC without having to be in front of it.
In the final determination, AirParrot 2 is the perfect companion application to use with your Google Chromecast device, Apple TV, or Mac and Windows computers. When you want to mirror or extend your desktop, listen to tunes, show off some photos, or let someone else see a file from your PC through your Google Chromecast or Apple TV using Airplay, this lets you do it without any hassle.
You won’t need any more hacks and tricks–the AirParrot 2 app does the job for you. You can stop pulling your hair out. AirParrot 2 for the Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Mac and Windows is a breakthrough in getting things to just work together.