A woman looking at family photos on a television.
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Bought a new Chromecast or streaming device and have an old Chromecast lying around? Don’t toss it in a drawer and forget about it, turn it into a digital picture frame for yourself or a relative.

Let’s be real here. Digital picture frames are a niche product category that has just never taken off like you’d expect it to. On paper, it’s a great gift, especially for older and distant relatives. You buy this thing, you set it up for them, and keep them updated with baby pictures and all that good stuff.

In reality, they often end up left in the box, set up but forgotten about, or sitting on a side table, perpetually turned off.

I have pretty strong opinions about how bad of a gift dedicated digital picture frames are and how great of a replacement for digital picture frames the Chromecast is, but it boils down to this.

The Chromecast is easy to remotely update with new photos, automatically applies firmware updates to itself, and can be used for other tasks besides looking at pictures, like watching YouTube videos. Even older generation Chromecasts are perfect for photo slideshows and light video watching.

Chromecast with Google TV

Pass your old Chromecast on to a family member and grab this 4K capable model as an upgrade for yourself.

Would I want a first-generation Chromecast as my sole streaming device? Not today, no. But for slapping on your grandmother’s TV so she can just press the input button to switch from her cable box to the Chromecast anytime she wants to see pictures of her grandkids, you really can’t beat it.

So if you have an older Chromecast gathering dust or you’re looking for an excuse to upgrade the one you have, there’s no time like the present to set up that old Chromecast to display photos or even serve as a digital art frame too.

Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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