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. In most cases, it’s easier to use a Chromecast than it is finding a way to hook your devices up to your TV individually and its cheap price point makes it almost universally accessible. If you have a Chromecast, you’ll want to check out the best Chromecast apps for Android.
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. This is likely the easiest way to get stuff from your local storage to your TV screen.
[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 device, connect to WiFi, and then play your stuff on your various WiFi enabled 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 do a bit of digging, you can also cast entire websites. 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. There is also a discovery feature now that shows you various Chromecast apps that you can use, what they’re showing, and where you can get them. It’s not just a setup app anymore and should be a great companion for any Chromecast owner.
[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.
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. Thankfully, Google runs plenty of sales, free movie promotions, and cheap rental promotions to get you started.
[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 along with YouTube Red. 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. Google Play Music also acts as a local music player so you can also stream your locally stored music to the Chromecast as well.
[Price: Free app, $7.99-$11.99/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 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 and Hulu also recently created a new plan for $11.99 that gets rid of all commercials which people seem to really like.
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 and you don’t need an FM transmitter to enjoy the music. It has Chromecast support and it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular “radio” streaming apps out there. It’s especially good around most holidays with curated stations specifically for those events.
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 and BubbleUPnP as it shares functionality with both apps.
[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 has been continuously updated and improved over the years and the developers have done well with keeping with the latest design trends. Streaming is almost flawless as long as your connection holds out. It’s the streaming choice of many and it’s a great option for Chromecast owners.
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. The music library isn’t as big as something like Spotify or Google Play Music, but it’s accessible, simple to use, and it’s a good way to discover music you haven’t heard yet.
[Price: Free / $3.99/month]
Plex made a name for itself when it comes to the Chromecast by being among the first apps to support Google’s hardware. For those who don’t know, Plex is a server app where you can create a home server on your computer and then stream your video to your various devices. With the app, you can stream from your computer to your device and then to your TV using the Chromecast. There is also a paid service that adds even more content. It’s worth a shot and it’s a trusted service by many people.
If you like podcasts and want to watch or listen to them on your TV, then Pocket Casts is your best option. It 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 very reliable. It also has a decent interface, playlists, cross-device syncing, and, of course, Chromecast support. There isn’t a free version to try, so be sure to make sure you like it within the allotted refund time.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Solid Explorer is a file manager and one of the very few that also has native Chromecast support. It also comes with a plethora of other features, including FTP/SFTP, WebDav, and SMB/CIFS support along with your usual array of file browsing features such as drag-and-drop, copy/paste, compression support (zip, rar, etc), and cloud storage support for Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and others. It’s a powerful file browser and it’s perfect for sending your files to the Chromecast.
[Price: Free / $9.99/month subscription]
After months and months of waiting, Spotify finally gave their users Chromecast support. It’s not perfect just yet, but it’s getting there and it’s good enough to include Spotify on this list. Spotify is a music streaming service with over 30 million songs and you can sync your personal library to your device as well. It’s beloved and trusted by millions around the world and it’s a great option for music streaming.
TED is a platform where very smart people go on stage and talk about very smart things. It’s considered the stage where 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. It’s also entirely free as are all of the videos.
[Price: Free / $7.99/month subscription]
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. You can also get a subscription which removes ads, gives you live sports radio, and unlimited access to 40,000 audiobooks.
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 also catch coverage of large gaming events, re-watch the Bob Ross painting show every Monday, and watch your friends try to play first person shooters. It’s all totally free as well or you can subscribe to your favorite streamers to support them if you choose to.
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, shows, 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!