Chromecast is a great utility that every person in the world who likes to consume media in any form should purchase. I purchased one about a year ago and I literally use the device every day for consuming media. If you are not aware of what a Chromecast is, it is an HDMI dongle that connects to your television via an HDMI port and a USB port for power and allows you to stream media to it using the internet or from your smartphone, Android or iOS. Today, let me list down the best apps that you can find on the Google Play Store that help you enhance your experience of using a Chromecast.
Here’s a guide on How to setup Google Chromecast.
LocalCast is my favorite app that I use to stream media from my phone to my TV. It allows me to stream movies, music, pictures and even PDF documents to view on my TV screen. The best part is that it is free to use, but it serves you some advertisements which you might not like. Personally, I don’t mind those advertisements.
AllCast (Free / Paid – $4.99)
AllCast is a great application that was built specifically to allow you to stream media from your smartphone to your TV. It supports various streaming devices, including Chromecast and Roku. The application is however not free, and will cost you 5$ for a paid version. You can however download a free version of the app that allows you to stream movies and pictures for a time limit of 5 minutes only.
ES File Explorer with Chromecast Plugin (Free)
ES File Manager is one of the most popular file managers available on the Google Play Store today and you’ll be surprised to know that this application also supports Chromecast and allows you to stream media saved on your phone to your TV. Chances are you are already using ES File Manager on your phone, so just install the Chromecast plugin for it from the Play Store, and you can stream media to your TV from your phone.
YouTube is one of the biggest online video hosting platform, where various people upload great videos. You’ll find videos ranging from cute cat videos to the all tech videos from different channels on the platform and I’m sure you would have visited this website at least a few times in your internet life span. The official YouTube app from Google has in-built support for Chromecast, wherein you can ask Chromecast to stream videos directly from YouTube to your TV, and use your smartphone as a remote control for YouTube. Watching YouTube videos on such a big screen will definitely enhance your viewing experience of the videos. The YouTube app will most probably be already installed on your smartphone as almost every smartphone ships with YouTube preinstalled.
Plex (Free / Paid)
Plex Media Server is one of the most common media servers that people set up on their computers, if they want to stream media within their network or otherwise. The Plex App for Android lets you stream pictures, videos and music from your phone to Chromecast, also allowing you to stream the content from your media server to Chromecast. The free version will let you cast only 1 minute of video or movies and watermarked pictures when casting from the media server. You will need a paid version for uninterrupted use.
BubbleUPnP (Free / Paid – $4.69)
BubbleUPnP is another great application that lets you stream media from your phone to a variety of streaming devices like Roku and Chromecast. It performs pretty much the same as AllCast, and is even priced very similar to the AllCast. It not only allows you to stream content from your phone, but also from various online portals including Google Drive and Dropbox. The paid version is used to remove the ads and limitations on media playback.
Apart from the best apps that I have listed above, there are a few worthy mentions that deserve to be in this list as well.
Google Cast (Free)
This list would be incomplete without mentioning the official Chromecast App. The official Chromecast app lets you know the various apps that are installed on your phone that have Chromecast support and the application even shows the popular content on those applications. Basically, this app acts as a catalogue for the entire Chromecast library that is available across the Google Play Store. Installing this app is a must for every person who uses Chromecast.
Google Play Music (Free)
If you are a music lover, and use the bundled Google Play Music application on your smartphone, you’ll be happy to know that this application also supports Chromecast so you can play your music via your TV speakers, or even better, on your speakers via the Chromecast Audio. You can just play the songs on your phone and tap on the Chromecast button to connect to your Chromecast and enjoy your music there.
I hope one of the apps that I’ve listed here meets your requirements and you are able to enhance your experience of using your Chromecast. Do let me know in the comments section below which app you ended up going with and why, just so I know what everyone is choosing from the list of these best apps. If you think there is another application that deserves to be on the list, then also let me know in the comments section below.