22 best Chromecast apps for Android
The Chromecast is quickly becoming a staple in most home theater set ups. Even though it’s a small piece of hardware, it allows you to connect your TV to practically anything else in the house with a processor in it and that includes your Android phone. Here is a short list of the essential Chromecast apps that pretty much everyone should have.
AllCast is an application that was developed specifically to stream your locally stored content to your TV. It is compatible with Roku, Apple TV, various game consoles, and, of course, the Chromecast. All you need is some stuff on your device such as movies or photos and you can immediately start streaming. It’s a bit expensive at $4.99 but you can get a free version to try it before you buy it to make sure it works for you.
[Price: Free / $4.69]
BubbleUPnP is an application that allows you to float your media literally all over your house. It’s compatible with most current game systems, Roku, Chromecast, mobile devices, tablets, and more. The way it works is you set it up on your computer and then play your stuff on your various devices. It also has support for some cloud storage sites and plenty of other features. There’s a free version and a paid version so you can try it out before you buy it.
Chrome Browser was one of the first applications to get Chromecast support and remains one of the best out there today. The strength here is the ability to cast whatever you see in your web browser. That means video embedded in websites and other content can be easily sent to your TV without downloading an app or anything special. If you have a Chromecast, you should also have Chrome Browser.
The Chromecast app was originally used only for setup but updates over the last year have given the app more control over the Chromecast. Included along with the setup process is the ability to customize your background with art, photos, news, and other stuff. You can also use it to manage your settings. Just because your Chromecast is set up and ready to go doesn’t mean this nifty little app needs to be buried in the app drawer, never to be seen again!
[Price: Free / Subscription]
Crunchyroll is considered one of the premiere anime streaming apps around. It features hundreds of titles, some of which are updated within hours of the show airing. You can watch content for free as long as you don’t mind advertising or you can buy a subscription and watch whatever you want ad-free. It also has apps available on most modern game consoles, the PS Vita, Apple TV, and Roku. If you like anime, it’s worth a shot, just beware of the occasional bugs reported by other users.
ES File Explorer has a long history of being among the best file managers out there. It’s been totally free for years and there’s no signs that it’s stopping anytime soon. In the not-too-distant past, the developers released a Chromecast plugin. This allows you to cast video files to your Chromecast from your device. It’s a more simple solution, but it is totally free and since everyone should have a file browser anyway, this really kills two birds with one stone.
Google Play Movies and TV is Google’s app to manage the movies and TV shows you may have rented or purchased on Google Play. Of course, there is Chromecast support so you can watch your newly purchased/rented content directly on your TV. It’s considered one of the more positive video streaming experiences on the Chromecast with the only caveat being that you have to buy into the Google Play ecosystem to use it.
[Price: Free / $9.99/month subscription]
Google Play Music is another Google app that works very well with the Chromecast. This one allows you to upload up to 50,000 songs to their servers that you can stream any web-connected device you own. You can also purchase their $9.99/month subscription and that gives you access to Google Play Music radio stations and all the songs on the service. You can stream your own stuff or their stuff directly to your Chromecast and it’s considered one of the best music experiences on Chromecast.
[Price: Free app, $7.99/month subscription]
Hulu Plus is one of the better movie and TV streaming services out there and yes, it does have Chromecast support. It boasts a large library of TV shows and movies and is one of the few services that lets you watch currently running TV shows in the same season they’re currently airing. It also has a healthy supply of older movies and shows along with a decent selection of anime. It’s a good choice for Chromecast owners.
iHeartRadio is a streaming service that operates a lot like Pandora. You can listen to stations created by iHeartRadio and there is a selection of actual radio stations you can tune into also. It relies on data instead of an FM transmitter so you can listen wherever you have data. It has Chromecast support and it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular “radio” streaming apps out there.
LocalCast is an interesting option for those who want to stream home media. It supports movies, pictures, videos, and even PDFs for those who need that functionality. You can also stream from your cloud storage if you use a supported cloud storage provider. It’s free to use which is good news and the developers have done a decent job patching up bugs over the last several months. It’s a good free alternative to AllCast
[Price: Free / $4.80]
Mezzmo is kind of a competitor of Plex. It has its own server system that you can use to stream your home media over DLNA to various devices. One of those supported devices is a Chromecast. It also features a nice UI and a trial version so you can see if you like it before you buy it. It’s a good alternative for Plex if, for some reason, that service just isn’t working out for your and it’s one of the few ways to stream things from your computer to your TV without dedicated hardware.
[Price: Free app ($8.99/month subscription]
Netflix was among the first to even have Chromecast support and it remains the streaming service of choice for many who love the Chromecast. Everyone knows what Netflix is, what it has, and what it costs so there really isn’t much new information here. It is worth noting that the latest seasons of Orange is the New Black and House of Cards are phenomenal!
Pandora is one of the most respected names in music streaming and it’s because they’re always on the forefront of technology. It’s playable on practically every device ever and that includes the Chromecast. If you use Pandora then chances are it’s already on your smartphone and it’s ready to be streamed to your Chromecast right now.
[Price: Free / $$3.99/month]
Plex has always been in the background of the Android video streaming scene but that doesn’t mean it lacks in features. With Plex you can create a home-based streaming server out of your computer and use Plex to stream to your Android device. With Chromecast support, you can stream anything you own to any TV in your house. If you pick up Plex Pass, you get even more features if you want them.
If you like podcasts and want to watch or listen to them on your TV, then Pocket Casts is your best option. It only has a large selection of podcasts available for consumption and has video and audio podcasts available too. The developer has been solid when it comes to adding updates and the app is just generally reliable. It also has a decent interface, playlists, cross-device syncing, and, of course, Chromecast support.
TED is a platform where very smart people go on stage and talk about very smart things. It’s considered the stage from which visionaries talk about their awesome feats and it’s a really good listen for those looking to learn something. The app is extremely well done and it also includes Chromecast support. It’s true that the mainstream probably doesn’t appreciate TED as much as they should, but there are some great talks on there worth listening to.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
TuneInRadio is another radio-station style streaming app with one major difference. Unlike apps like Pandora, TuneIn has a very healthy selection of talk radio. This includes podcasts, talk radio shows, radio shows, and more that run the gambit on genres including sports, news, tech, and more. There is also some music there if you want. Some of the big names included are the BBC, NRP, CNN, and CBS. It’s a great app and it finally has Chromecast support.
Twitch is the premiere service for watching video games online. You can watch players play eSports with games like League of Legends, watch players play through regular games, and see all kinds of weird and phenomenal feats and challenges being completed. It’s the video play land of video gamers and it has Chromecast support! You can pick it up in the Play Store using the button below.
Videostream was a user suggestion and a really good one. This app lets you stream your local content from your computer to your Chromecast or Android TV. Unlike most apps like Plex, BubbleUPnP, and others, this requires a very minimal set up and it’s great for beginners looking to get into the local media streaming space. Its user friendliness makes a great option for most people and it even supports subtitles.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases].
Yatse, the XBMC/Kodi Remote is another user suggestion that turned out to be a really good application. XBMC/Kodi users are a bit niche but there is a way to integrate your setup with your Chromecast and this is it. The remote has a metric ton of features including voice commands, Android Wear support, Chromecast/AirPlay/UPnP support, and much, much more. If you use XBMC/Kodi, you should have this without question.
We originally didn’t put YouTube on this list because it seemed too obvious but thanks to reader requests, it will adorn the list. YouTube has plenty of videos for your consumption that include reviews, news, music, webcasts, video podcasts, and all sorts of other stuff. It has been steadily evolving with support for 2K and 4K video and even some fun virtual reality stuff. If you grab up YouTube, don’t forget to subscribe to Android Authority!
If there is a Chromecast app that we missed, please let us know in the comments! If you’re interested in checking out the latest and greatest Android apps and games news, feel free to check out our newsletter using the button below!