The Best Chromecast Apps

The Best Chromecast Apps

Around a month ago, Google finally released the Chromecast SDK . What this meant for us is that shiny new Chromecast apps would be coming down the pipe. And pipes they most certainly have come down! Here are some of the best (and most essential) apps for your Chromecast.

While the Chromecast isn't yet officially available in Australia, plenty of people have imported it, and reports suggest that it will get an official launch soon.

Stream Local Media on Your Phone: Allcast (Android, $5.56)

Allcast, created by Koush — a CynaogenMod Inc. developer and creator of ROM Manager, ClockworkMod Recovery and plenty of other apps — allows you to stream your photos, videos and music from your Android device directly to Chromecast. The app has a bright and easy-to-use UI and, in addition to supporting the Chromecast, it also allows you to stream to your Xbox or Apple TV, or a number of other media receivers. It also very recently gained the ability to stream content from a DLNA server on your network. So you can use your phone to send movies on your desktop to your Chromecast-equipped TV without any extra configuration. Neat.

Mirror Your Phone's Display: Mirror (Android, root)

Screen mirroring on Android isn't the easiest thing to accomplish, nor is it all that useful on an everyday basis for most people. If you're in the group that does need it, though (and you have root access), Mirror can help you out. allows you to echo your phone's display on any Chromecast device.

Share Videos From Your Browser: Chrome Beta (Android)

The Best Chromecast Apps

Not content with allowing you to stream video from your browser on the desktop, Google is working on casting from Chrome itself. Right now, the feature is only available via Chrome Beta (and you have to manually enable it, as Android Police explains how to do here) but once it's on, many video sources that haven't explicitly enabled video streaming support can be sent from your phone to your TV. Be forewarned that, as a beta feature of a beta app, it's pretty buggy right now, but it does work for some services.

Stream Networked Media: BubbleUPnP (Android, server on Windows/Mac/Linux)

The Best Chromecast Apps

If you were looking for a reason to see the Chromecast as something more than a toy, this might just be it. BubbleUPnP allows you to stream everything from your networked storage or media servers. The Android app itself allows you to send content on your phone to the Chromecast if it's in a supported format (P3, AAC, Vorbis, MP4 and MKV H264, images). However, you can also set up a BubbleUPnP server on a Windows, Mac, or Linux machine to stream any transcoded media. There is a $4.80 premium licence for removing a 20-minute limit on transcoded streaming, but it's a small price to pay to turn any display with an HDMI port into a receiver for your media server.

Photo and Slideshow Sharing: Dayframe (Android), Photo Cast (iOS)

Dayframe was initially designed to turn your Android devices into a digital picture frame-like device when not in use. While neat by itself, the recent addition of Chromecast support makes it ideal for sharing your vacation or event photos on your TV. As a bonus, Dayframe can pull photos from Facebook, Dropbox, and plenty of other sources so you don't have to have your content stored locally to put in your TV.

On the iOS side, Photo Cast can perform a similar function, though in a somewhat more limited fashion. Photo Cast can't access your pictures on cloud storage, but it can share your Camera Roll pictures to the TV.

Stream Music From Your Phone or the Cloud: DSub (Android), Play Music (Android, iOS)

The Best Chromecast Apps

We've talked before about how to use Subsonic to roll your own media server. Android app DSub can tap into your Subsonic media collection to stream music to your Chromecast, whether it's stored on your server or your phone itself. At the moment, this is limited to only music files, but more features are said to be coming to the DSub beta.

If music is all you care about (or if you're using an iPhone), you can also use Google's Play Music app for this same purpose. Google allows you to upload a huge number of songs up to its cloud storage locker, which can all be streamed to your Chromecast on either Android or iOS.


Comments

    3 words: Videostream for chromecast (www.streamchromecast.com)

      Can't you just open video files using Chrome and then cast that? That's how I've been doing it; is streamchromecast a better way? If so, how? Cheers

        Ever notice how if sometimes when you're casting the tab the movie might die half way and you'll be forced to cast it again? Videostream gets rid of all that + lets you stream in full 1080p.

        Bottom line: There's doing some witchcraft to make it all work but it's wonderful and totally changed how i use my living room!!!

      This guy gets it. Videostream is awesome. Best 35 bucks I ever spent... recently.

    Considering Chromecast isn't available in Australia... this is rather pointless

      Except that Google may be launching the Chromecast in Aus shortly: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/03/google-chromecast-is-probably-launching-in-australia-soon/

      Even if it wasn't launching locally, you can import them, so knowing decent apps is far from pointless.

        Indeed. A point made in the second paragraph of the article!

      I live in Perth, WA, and already have a Chrome Cast - just because it isn't officially available, doesn't mean we can't get them.

      Not being a smart @rse here, but I've got two at home and even talked my boss into buying one at work. They may not be widely available yet, but I can assure you, there's plenty of interest to warrent an article like this.

      I have two Chromecasts at home - they're great! One I bought from Amazon when they accidentally allowed shipping to Australia. The other I bought on ebay.

      Do some research before jumping to conclusions. Three of my mates and I have them. I know a number of Australian stores selling them.

      I've got one. Easily obtainable from eBay at competitive prices.

    If I have unblock.us at DNS level, and I get a Chromecast, will I be able to plug it in and watch Netflix on my TV? It works perfectly on my Chromebook, but nothing I've tried seems to work on on my (Samsung Smart) TV.

      It'd depend on your router/network set up in general.

      Chromecast DNS is hardcoded to use Google's DNS servers, which makes it difficult to use unblock-us or an equivalent DNS based solution.

      There are workarounds for this though, but as I said it's dependant on how your network is set up. If your router can block access to Google's DNS IPs, it'll fall back to whatever DHCP provides it with.

      Early Chromecasts could be rooted, and then flashed with a custom ROM, to override this, but the newer ones ship with a non-vulnerable boot loader, or at least.. one the community has not hacked yet.

        Hadn't realised you could block the google dns ip's and it'd use the dhcp ones - this is handy to know so appreciate you mentioning it. I have two Chromecasts - one rooted with Eureka on it, the other was not rootable and so has the latest release on it.

      Hmm.. I've had unblock.us and Netflix working fine on my Samsung Smart TV. I just followed the instructions from unblock.us on their site - though I seem to recall having to factory reset the tv and choosing USA as the country so I could get the netflix/hulu apps.

    Doing a review of the best apps and you haven't even mentioned Plex? You've missed the best of them all, heads above everything else. https://plex.tv

    Media browser.
    http://mediabrowser.tv/community/index.php?/blog/1/entry-36-media-browser-ready-to-cast-stream-your-local-media-to-chromecast/

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