Google has restored Chromecast ambient mode back to its former high-res glory

Google has finally lifted bandwidth restrictions on Ambient Display Mode for Chromecast and Nest Hub devices, upping the resolution of photos and improving features like image rotation speeds back to their intended original state. .

The announcement was made on an official Google Nest Community blog post, which reminds owners of Chromecast and Nest Hub displays that the original reason for putting the restrictions in place was to ease the load on bandwidth. globally as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lifting these restrictions means that the photos you chose to browse for Ambient Mode will now display at their full resolution. Additionally, users can now adjust the speed at which Ambient Mode cycles through their selected photos.

A significant improvement or the status quo?

It’s worth noting that Google lifted its Ambient Mode bandwidth restrictions on Chromecast displays and Nest Hub didn’t really offer any tangible improvement over the default. Or at least the default as it was before the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced many of us to stay home. All Google has done is restore features like image resolution and photo cycle settings to their intended state.

If you’ve only ever used Ambient Display Mode on a small Nest Hub display, you may never have noticed a difference in image resolution. However, said difference was more noticeable when blasted onto a TV via Google Chromecast – those larger screens making a drop in overall resolution a bit more apparent.

Google wasn’t the only tech giant to enforce bandwidth restrictions during the pandemic, either. Streaming services like Netflix have reduced the video quality of content to offset the surge in viewership. This is understandable, as the servers these companies use can only handle so much stress before performance has a direct and noticeable impact.

Although now that bandwidth restrictions have been lifted for Ambient Display Mode, we would love to see some real improvements from Google in the future. For example, it’s a bit strange that the Chromecast Ultra – the brand’s 4K HDR streamer – still only displays photos at a lower resolution of 1080p. Photos can always appear less detailed than they actually are.

Still, with the worst of the pandemic behind us, Google may now be in a better position to improve the Ambient Display Mode, which looks fantastic on those smaller Nest Hub displays. It just needs a little more work when it comes to Chromecast devices.

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