It’s been around a year since Chromecast got an SDK and ever since, it hasn’t stopped surprising us. Every other day, it’s graced with new integration and functionality that makes it a bit better. At this point, the $35 streaming stick seems like a no brainer.
Over and above all the media stuff, Chromecast can now be considered a serious productivity companion. For it supports streaming for all your Office documents from iPhone and Android.
And yes, I know the Chrome extension lets you mirror the PC’s screen to Chromecast, essentially negating the need for such an app. But that’s not such a smooth experience. The Android’s mirroring is a bit better but not supported on older devices. If you have an iPhone or iPad, however, this is an effective and necessary solution because iOS alone doesn’t support screen mirroring.
When you use Polaris Office, the app we’re going to talk about, your device becomes a remote and controlling the document, especially the presentation, becomes much easier. Let’s talk a look at how it works.
How to Stream Office Documents from Polaris to Chromecast
First, this functionality is limited to the Polaris Office app (iOS, Android). The third party productivity suite prides itself for working best with all sorts of Office documents. So to use this functionality you’ll need to import your documents to Polaris. You can do it using the Open in menu in iOS 8, the share sheet in Android, or just import documents to your account via the web.
Also, because Polaris is so focused on “the cloud“, you’ll need to sign up for an account. Annoying, yes, but at least you won’t lose your documents once that’s done.
Start the app and make sure Chromecast is enabled, running, and connected to the Wi-Fi network (check out our guide if you’re not sure how that works). You’ll now see the ever familiar Cast button in the top-right corner. Tap it and select your Chromecast.
Now, browse the files stored in the app and tap the one you want to stream. The app will ask if you really want to stream it to Chromecast; authenticate to continue.
Now, your Chromecast will show a loading screen (for a bit too long if I’m being honest), and your document will appear on the TV.
Take a look at the device in your hand. You’ll see a D pad and other navigation buttons on the top half and a touchpad on the bottom. You can swipe the touchpad to scroll and zoom in on Word documents.
Should You Be Using This?
I feel like this is best for presentations. The ones made in PowerPoint. Because the only other option is to mirror your entire PC screen to Chromecast.
And the performance when it comes to presentations is pretty good. There’s no lag, which is more than what can be said when browsing Word and Excel documents. They had noticeable delay, but nothing intolerable.
I don’t think Chromecast is ready to be a professional mirroring tool, it definitely needs more power. But unless Microsoft decides to add a Cast button in their apps, I’m afraid Polaris is all you’ve got.
366 Ways to Use Chromecast
Man, Chromecast supports a lot of stuff these days. How do you use it though? Give us some new ideas in the comments below.