Google announced three major updates to its Chromecast dongle at its recent I/O conference in San Francisco. Improvements include streaming content over a different network, configuring the background of your television and mirroring the display of your smartphone.

Chromecast dongles will allow people to 'cast' content without being connected to the same Wi-Fi network. The update will make it possible to connect to nearby devices -- even if they're on a different wireless network -- via the cloud. Chromecast users who are not automatically verified will be prompted to enter a PIN.

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Director of product management for Chromecast, Rishi Chandra, went on to introduce a feature called 'Backdrop'. Backdrop makes it possible to display high quality slideshows of personal photos from a user's connected device or from their Google+ account. Unlike most in-built slideshow services, Backdrop allows users to choose what albums or photos are displayed.

New stock images of artworks from famous museums will be preloaded under a feature called Google Ambience. "Now my TV is a beautiful set of paintings," Chandra said. Users can also find out what is being shown on their screen using the voice command: "What's on my Chromecast?" The command will retrieve information relevant to the images being displayed.

The final noteworthy improvement is the ability to mirror the content of your smartphone onto your television. This feature can be accessed through the Chromecast application with Google creating its own framework to minimise latency. The mirroring feature is shown to be compatible with Google Earth and live-action camera use.

Google's Chandra said these features would be released later this year.