Chromecast

The Chromecast is a fantastic little device that has quickly made our TVs leagues smarter than they were before. Every day new Chromecast-friendly Android apps are beaming all sorts of new content to the big screen, and it's getting to the point where finding the really great ones can be a challenge. Luckily, we're here to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Obviously all of the major subscription music and video services have some amount of Chromecast support, but between the requirement for monthly fees and regular geographical limitations, we're skipping the vast majority of these in favor of more broadly available apps. Dive in and take a look at our top ten favorite Chromecast apps for Android.

 

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The best Android apps for Chromecast

93 Comments

I think NoNexus replied to thatguy97.
On another note, I haven't tried AllCast lately.. it kept falling in me.. I never had courage to fork out the bucks for an app that would skip. Nowadays I don't even need it.

oh my bad haha. but yeah i had that same problem when I used the free version. switched over later to any cast I think it was called and haven't looked back. until screen casting became an option. now there's no need for those apps anymore for me also

I still see a need...

With screen casting, if i'm watching something on my device, it ties it up to ONLY show that. Allcast lets you cast media, then minimize and do other things, such as text or whatever. Not sure how you got "ripped off", but i gladly bought the app and use it nearly daily. never have any issues at all.

+1

Tried both for several days, found Localcast to be more polished, smoother, easier to use.

Also, 100% free.

Fyi, Songza link loads YouTube app in play store (instead of Songza).

Also, could be this is in the works, I'm just not sure, but if not, world be awesome to cast the videos in the article straight to TV. Had to click download link to take me to play store, launch video there, then cast from play store to TV. No biggie, just some feedback for reducing steps.

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Yeah, it's nice that it does it for the people who want that functionality, but a top chromecast app? I think not.

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When you back up all your pics to G+, it's actually pretty damn awesome.
Tried Dayframe not long ago, that was a waste of time.

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Like I say, it's nice that it's there, I just don't think it warrants being on this list.

Avia does the same and much more besides, and I bet other media server apps do as well.

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Considering how many times my wife wants to show me a video on her FB and I wish she could just Cast it; I do see a point on G+ having Chromecast support.

I don't know how well it works, cause I don't use it. But Avia can connect to Facebook too. Give it a look, or recommend it to your wife.

I did say twice now that it's a good thing it's included, but that isn't enough in my opinion to be in the top chromecast app list.

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I got Plex when it was Amazon's app of the day, can't say I've used it much. I got Avia beforehand and it serves my purposes well.

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I've used both also. I prefer Plex because of the way it handles metadata. I am OCD about show organization, information, and look. I guess it is the tech writer in me.

Question.....why is that Plex has an option to sign in? Why would I need to sign in to stream local content?

Plex is really just a prettier packaged version of Playon. I don't think it is a true user based server. Plex manages your local file's through their server software on your computer and I think they use the log on account management to cross walk that info. through the cloud. Can anyone smarter about this help out here?

+1 for Plex being great for OCD control of your media. Aside from being a great local in-home media server, the account with the Plex servers is a link back to that home server from anywhere so you can be at a friend's house and open your home Plex content on their TV via Chromecast or Roku, or share your libraries with friends and they can stream content from your home PC to their devices via their Plex account.

I suppose it's about use case, I use a netgear stora as a home file server, it's power efficient and does the job nicely. I've got no wish to run a full PC to replicate it's functionality.

Plex won't talk to it, because it doesn't run their media server software.

Avia and bubble UPNP may not lay things out in such a pretty way, but they're more independently flexible.

For me, form

I purchased Plex in Amazon because I wanted to know what was that people liked about it, but so far I have been unable to use it. All the pages are empty. It cannot find local content (I do have music, movies and pictures) nor it can find the DLNA media server running in my NAS. What is it for then?
Please, don't tell me that I have to install another media server daemon in my NAS, much less install a server app in my windows PC and leave it On 24 hours a day. That is what I purchased my NAS for, and it work perfectly using the industry standard DLNA.

In contrast, Bubbleupnp can locate all the local content, and also all the content that my Twonky media server is streaming from my NAS. I can render locally, in Chromecast, my Sony TV, the Roku, Xbox 360....you name it. And, with the Xposed Framework module I can stream any audio from my phone. Did I say any? Yes, any. Not just from supported Chromecast apps. And with the Bubbleupnp server extension installed in my NAS it can transcode (I don't do this as mine doesn't have the horsepower) or create a playlist for playback at another renderer and leave my home, or turn my phone off. The server takes over the playlist. I can even stream from my home when I'm in the street, without having to hand over my content to a privacy-invading cloud storage business.
But I guess that people would not benefit of all this if they don't have a media server. Otherwise it wouldn't have been left out of the list. But again, who stores 500GB of movies and music on their own phones?

wow, i guess it's too much to look up what you are "purchasing"?

it has a free media server component, although it does work with DLNA servers as well. plexapp.com

And you people feel smugly superior to WP and iOS users. /smh

I said... "Please, don't tell me that I have to install another media server daemon in my NAS, much less install a server app in my windows PC and leave it On 24 hours a day. "
I guess reading comprehension is a lost art.

Ummm... cause baseball turned boring ever since Astros lost Bujols.
GO 'STROS

(Not saying that's the reason they suck, but that occurred when they started sucking)

A couple things about Google Play Music that I feel are not well known:

1- You can upload 20K files to the cloud for free. That's files, not GB.

2- They have a program that will monitor your HD, and automatically upload new files for you.

Compared to other services, I've found this to be the most invisible way to take my music with me- within minutes of getting a new track, it's in the cloud, where Google Play will show it as a newly-added album, or I can start adding it to a playlist.

I know that I can do similar stuff with Amazon, but they only give you 250 songs before you have to open your wallet.

Meh, I already have a better cloud storage solution that has over 1gb of free storage. It's called my PC, which I can access directly with Subsonic. Anything else is just a waste of time.

I wouldn't trust my home upload speed to reliably stream my music.

Besides, 20,000 songs is a lot more than 1GB I'd average it as around 60GB way more if you favour very long tracks.

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Bah, effing aroung with Play Music's dodgy upload service, track mismatching etc it way more frustrating than the 2 minute set up for Subsonic. I've deleted my music from Play Music and gone to SubSonic - DSub as the Android player supports Chromecast too. Play Music is still in my life but only for All Access and the occasional Album purchase.

I have never had any issues with uploading to play music and have never experienced connection problems which I would imagine is much more likely when using your own server.

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How do you get Google Play Music to show album art? Whenever I use it I just get a looping video of a fireplace on screen. (Ok for mid winter but it's nearly August Google)

Yeah, but root is required for that app. I'll just wait till Google extends mirroring to more devices.

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I use Localcast as my media streamer, not as difficult to set up as Plex and AllCast.

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Yes. In my opinion localcast is the best for playing network-stored files since it requires no server like plex does. I love being able to lay in bed and watch a movie from my network hard drive without having to turn anything else on. Plus, it's free!

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+1 After having tried AllCast for a while, I found LocalCast and AllCast got the uninstall treatment. The NAS streaming and plugins (Google+, gDrive, pdf viewing) are all great.

I like VUDU. The phone UI isn't the best, but it's OK. I've started a digital movie collection on there.

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Same here. My library grew a lot when a lot of my family bought DVDs and BRDs and I took their digital codes because they didn't even know what they were. My library also grew when they had that "5 dollar to upgrade a DVD" deal for ultra violet. Actually, I wish Google Movies would incorporate ultra violet.

Love the VUDU service, but hate the app. Can't wait for a native UI rather than a workup of their website. App is decent for streaming on the phone, and I never had issues with the Xbox or bluray versions, but casting has been crap since they added it. Both video on your TV then the app on the phone/tab freeze up constantly. Sad to see just about everyone reporting these issues with casting in the Play Store reviews for it. Aside from my UV collection I have bought a few movies and complete TV series directly with VUDU, so it's frustrating that their app isn't up to par with the overall service.

Happy to be on the S5 because I just screen mirror through chromecast and have VUDU play on the phone. Playback on the TV is a bit choppy when a moderate amt of movement, so definitely not a good solution for watching action packed shows or movies.

Netflix makes it incredibly easy and affordable to watch movies and TV episodes on your computer. The technology used by Netflix automatically checks your broadband speed and adjusts the streaming video quality to give you the best possible picture.

What's with the link to the apple store, wrong place to advertise for an iOS app

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Simon, you forgot about the best Chromecast app to date: BubbleUPNP!
1) If Plex is installed on your home PC, then Bubble can stream its content effortlessly.
2) It can also stream your device's audio stream directly to the Chromecast as well, letting you use any music player, regardless of Chromecast support.
3) If you install the BubbleUPNP server, it can play videos not natively supported by the Chromecast.
4) AllCast sucks.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bubblesoft.android.bub...

I hear a lot of its in there.
If I wanted to screw around with managing a server, I'd probably stick with an HDMI cable.

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I am with you. Nothing beats Bubbleupnp.

I think that Bubbleupnp works best when you are a homeowner with the dough to by a smart TV, your different set-top boxes, and a media server to store terabytes of music and movies. For people who care about preparing play lists for parties at home or ripping the DVD collection that the kids want to see again and again, so that they don't scrap the disks.
Your have to consider that a big chunk of the audience of this site are teens that got a smartphone from Santa the last Christmas. For them uploading music to a cloud service from mom's PC is m check easier, and they are not even administering media for other family members use.
Still I don't understand how Bubbleupnp's competitor Plex made the list when Bubbleupnp, which does a lot more (for me) didn't.

You're very naughty!

That's what I would say if I even knew what this "show box" was!

For that matter, what does "plausible deniability" even mean?

;p

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Plausible deniability

Plausible deniability is a term coined by the CIA in the early 1960s to describe the withholding of information from senior officials in order to protect them from repercussions in the event that illegal or unpopular activities by the CIA became public knowledge.

moved from nexus 5 to HTCm8

I'm a big sports fan (football, at least) but I won't ever have a cable subscription again, so ESPN is dead to me until they start selling access to their content at a reasonable price.

I use BubbleUPnP on my N7 in conjunction with BubbleUPnP Server & Asset UPnP running on my home server daily to stream our home's music library to our Chromecast hooked up to our living room home theater receiver.

The Chromecast suprisingly enough can handle Bubble UPnP's/Asset UPnP's 44.1 kHz/24bit Lossless audio streams and it sounds mighty fine. Bubble UPnP streaming from Asset UPnP sounds better than Google Play to me but then again Google Play only spits out mp3s. Also Google play can only handle about 20k tracks whereas Asset UPnP playing to Bubble UPnP can handle our home's music library which contains more than 50K songs.

Asset UPnP also trumps Play Music in that it can serve my entire library remotely too. I ride around in my car listening to audio streams off my home server from Asset UPnP via BubbleUPnP on my N4 connected to my car radio with Bluetooth. I was even in Europe a couple of weeks ago listening to music streamed off my home server to my various hotels in Italy, Spain and Croatia via WiFi. It even worked via the mobile network too in Italy. (Thank you T-Mobile for free international data roaming!)

In a nutshell Bubble UPnP is what I turn to for getting my music to my Chromecast and much more. I was actually suprised it wasn't on the list.

I have a question. Is it possible to mirror one tab with say a video or music to the tv and have another tab on my laptop also playing a movie or music and have the audio separate? So a movie on my tv and music playing from my laptop, different tabs and only one tab is being streamed. Will the audio be split or will i hear both the music and movie from my tv and/or laptop? Thanks!

Am I the only one who keeps getting the 16003 error when trying to use Netflix through Chromecast? I've reset the Chromecast using the 'Factory Reset' option through the app, nothing fixes it. Anyone else have the same problem and was able to fix it?

Local Cast is a good way to see your videos or music stored in your phone or tablet, and looks like material design

So I have all these BlueRays with UltraViolet and never really cared about watching full lenght movies on my phone or computer, until linking them to Flixter, which now has Chromecast. So I can watch my DVD's on my dumb TV in the bedroom now. +1 for flixter

New Chromecast app launched called Vbio, which lets you stream local movies from phone to HDTV. Download now for free from Google Play Store