Watch slideshows of your favourite photos on your phone by sending them to the big screen TV in your lounge

Who prints out photos these days? We shoot photos on our phones and there they stay. Why not show them off to friends and relatives as a slide show on your big screen television? It’s brilliant!

A phone must be connected to the TV in some way in order to send the photos you want to see. This is best achieved wirelessly using a dongle or set top box. The phone connects to the device and then that is plugged into the TV. Photos are streamed over the network to the television.

There are several possible devices and Chromecast and Apple TV are the most obvious choices.

Stream photos to an Apple TV

If you have an iPhone or iPad then an Apple TV is a lot more useful than a Chromecast. The Apple TV can access iCloud photos or you can run the Photos app on the iPhone and send the output to the Apple TV and the television screen.

Open the Apple Photos app and press Photos at the bottom of the screen.

Press Select at the top and tap the photos you want to include in the slideshow.

 Apple Photos app on the iPhone . Select photos in Apple Photos app on the iPhone

Press the Share button at the bottom of the screen and select Slideshow.

The slideshow starts playing, so pause it and press the button in the top right corner of the screen. Select Apple TV and the slideshow appears on the TV.

The Apple Photos slideshow feature on the iPhone

The Apple Photos slideshow feature - select the Apple TV

Before you continue the slideshow though, press Options in the bottom right corner. There are four settings that can be adjusted.

The Theme is the slideshow design and there are several different ones to choose from. They slide photos onto the screen in various ways and create montages. Try each of the different themes.

There is also a selection of music to go with the themes, but there is also an option to select music from your iTunes library, so you can play your favourite music with the slides.

The Apple Photos slideshow features - set the theme and the music

The tortoise and the hare slider determines the speed of the slideshow.

Show photos with a Chromecast

If you have an Android phone the best device for showing TV slideshows is a Chromecast. This is a cheap dongle that plugs into an HDMI socket on the television. It connects to your home Wi-Fi network and that enables the phone to communicate with it.

Open the Google Photos app and go to your photos by tapping the icon at the bottom of the screen.

A Chromecast icon is displayed in the top right corner. Press it and it says Cast to, followed by a list of Chromecast devices. I have only one and I named it Chromecast when I set it up, but you could have one for each TV in the home. You would then see a list of Chromecast devices and you could choose the one to use.

Send output from an Android phone to a Chromecast connected to a TV

After connecting to the Chromecast, press the three dots menu button at the top and select Slideshow. Each photo appears for a few seconds and is then replaced by the next.

Start a slideshow in the Google Photos app on an Android phone

If you have an iPhone or iPad and install Google Photos on it, you can perform the same trick, almost. Unlike Android devices which won't work with an Apple TV, iOS devices do work with a Chromecast.

Open the Google Photos app and view a photo. Then tap the Chromecast icon in the top right corner of the screen. Select the Chromecast device to connect to.

The current photo then appears on the TV. You can view snapshots taken on your iPhone on a Chromecast-equipped TV, but unlike the Android app, the Google Photos app for the iPhone does not have a slideshow option on the menu.

This is a shame and it will probably appear in an app update sooner or later. For now, you must swipe through your iPhone and iPad photos manually to view them on the TV.

Who does slideshows best?

The iPhone and the Apple TV is a winning combination and it makes the slideshow feature in Google Photos look primitive in comparison.

There are many good features in Google Photos, but the slideshow isn’t the best of them. It works OK on Android phones, but it lacks features. The Google Photos iPhone app has yet to get a slideshow function.