Chromecast is a handy little gadget that lets you watch whatever you want on any TV.
The only problem is – it requires WiFi to work.
So, could you connect it to your iPhone’s hotspot to use Chromecast?
Chromecast does work with an iPhone hotspot. However, you’ll need a second smartphone to connect it to your iPhone hotspot and Chromecast. That’s because you can’t connect your iPhone to its own hotspot, as it replaces the traditional WiFi router.
Read on to learn what you can and can’t do with a Chromecast. I’ll explain how to connect it to your iPhone hotspot.
Can You Use Chromecast With Mobile Data?
You can’t use Chromecast with mobile data, because it needs a LAN connection, which is either WiFi or Ethernet. Furthermore, it has to be connected to the same network as your smartphone. If you don’t have WiFi, you can use 1 phone as a hotspot and connect another phone and Chromecast to it.
In addition, Chromecast can’t work with mobile data because it’s not a standalone device.
The only exception is the Chromecast with Google TV, the first Chromecast with a remote and has an interface. You still need a WiFi connection for it, though.
Here are a few important facts about Chromecast that’ll help you understand how it works. I’ll also explain a few things about iPhone hotspots.
1. You Can Use Chromecast With an iPhone Hotspot
The only catch with using an iPhone hotspot with Chromecast is that you need a second phone.
It doesn’t matter if the second phone is Android or an iPhone. Both can connect to an iPhone hotspot.
The Chromecast supports screencasting, which lets you stream content from your phone to the TV.
So, you need a phone to use it. You can’t connect the Chromecast to the iPhone hotspot and call it a day.
To connect it to the hotspot, you’ll use a second smartphone or tablet.
Here’s how to do it:
- Connect a smartphone or tablet to your iPhone hotspot.
- Download and install the Google Home app from the Google Play Store or App Store.
- Sign in to your Google account.
- Choose or create a Home.
- Allow the app to use your location, and it’ll automatically find your Chromecast device.
- Connect to the Chromecast. A 4-character code will pop up on the TV screen. Make sure it matches the one on your phone.
- Choose the room your Chromecast is in.
- On the ‘Choose your WiFi network’ screen, connect to the iPhone hotspot. A hotspot is essentially a WiFi network, so you’ll see it among other WiFis.
- Link the Chromecast to your Google account, and you’re done.
You can now use the second phone to control the Chromecast, and keep the iPhone’s hotspot on the whole time.
Note that videos use a lot of mobile data.
The higher the video quality, the more data it consumes. So, even if you can use your iPhone hotspot, a traditional WiFi connection is much better.
2. Using a Chromecast With an iPhone Hotspot Drains Battery
In addition to high data consumption, battery consumption is a major problem with phone hotspots.
Using the hotspot to watch videos will shorten the battery lifespan dramatically. The phone has to send and receive a lot of data.
This isn’t that much of a problem, though.
You’re most likely using the Chromecast to watch videos in a hotel room or Airbnb rental.
So, if data use isn’t a concern, you can use the iPhone as a makeshift router.
Plug the iPhone into the wall and leave it charging all the time. Connect your other phones to it, and use them for screencasting to the Chromecast.
3. You Can Use Ethernet With Chromecast
What can you do if you don’t have WiFi, but you do have an Ethernet cable?
Use Ethernet instead of the iPhone hotspot, of course!
A wired connection is significantly faster and more stable than WiFi. Not to mention that a phone hotspot provides weak WiFi in the first place.
Chromecast devices have an official adapter by Google that has an Ethernet port. But it’s not the only one that works.
Instead, buy the UGREEN Ethernet Adapter from Amazon.com. It connects to a power adapter via USB-A, and the Micro USB is for the Chromecast.
You’ll get a blazing-fast connection.
I’d take that over a mediocre iPhone hotspot any time.
4. Chromecast Must Be on the Same Network As Your Phone
If you want to use Chromecast, you must connect it to the same network as the device you’re casting from.
In other words, it has to be on the same LAN.
A local area network, or LAN for short, is a network of interconnected devices in one area.
In most cases, you do this using an Internet router.
Note that I never mentioned that it has to be WiFi. You can use a wired connection as well.
So, you can connect your phone to WiFi and the Chromecast via Ethernet. In fact, it’s much better than connecting the Chromecast to WiFi.
You’ll get less buffering, you can watch in 4K, and there won’t be any lag.
5. You Can Use an Android Phone Hotspot for Chromecast
If your iPhone is your primary device, it makes sense to carry an old Android as a hotspot.
Get a SIM with cheap or unlimited mobile data, and put it in the Android phone.
Just like that, you turned it into a portable router that works worldwide. Your whole family can connect to it when traveling.
For Chromecast, simply connect your iPhone to the Android hotspot. It’ll work like any other WiFi connection.
But there’s another trick with Android phones.
You can actually use a single device for Chromecast. Unfortunately, this trick may not work on iOS.
- Turn on the hotspot on your Android phone.
- Open Google Home, and connect to the Chromecast.
- Choose a WiFi network by going to ‘Other WiFi Network.’
- Type in the SSID and password of your hotspot.
This is a neat little trick. I have no way of confirming if this works with an iPhone, though. If you don’t have any other choice, it’s worth a shot.
Learn more: Is Chromecast better than screen mirroring?
BONUS: Combine an iPhone Hotspot With a Computer
So, what if you have a computer or laptop, an iPhone, and Chromecast?
You can create a hotspot on your iPhone, connect the laptop or computer to it, and connect to Chromecast.
I’ll tell you right off the bat that this is slightly harder to set up. Sometimes it won’t work at all. Chromecast is still somewhat buggy on computers.
Nonetheless, this is a neat trick if you’re on a business trip. You can even turn the hotel TV into a makeshift secondary monitor.
So, here’s how to connect your computer or laptop to Chromecast using an iPhone hotspot:
- Turn on the iPhone hotspot.
- Connect the computer to it.
- Turn on the TV, and set the Chromecast as the input device.
- Open Chrome on the computer.
- Click the three dots in the top right corner, and go to ‘Cast.’
- Wait for the computer to find the Chromecast and click on it.
If the Chromecast isn’t showing up, make sure you’re using the right account.
The Google account for Chrome must be the same as the one you paired the Chromecast to.
Chromecast needs to be on the same network as the device you’re trying to cast from.
It can be either WiFi or Ethernet, as long as it’s coming from the same router.
You can use your iPhone to create a hotspot that will act as a router.
However, you’ll need to connect another device to the iPhone hotspot to control the Chromecast.
Editor’s pick: 9 Reasons Why Your Chromecast Only Works With YouTube