We’re back with another Android Epic App battle and this time it’s two of the most popular media streamer apps out there that are going head to head. Plex and Allcast. Both are great apps and I have used both myself to quite an extent. They both offer similar features although each comes out ahead in their own respective areas. As always we’ll be posting a poll at the bottom so make sure to vote for you favorite app here and help decide which one deserves to be the winner.
When it comes to media streamers, Plex is certainly one of the best apps out there to get the job done. The app allows you to control your flow of local media for TV and movies, music, and photos right from your Android device, and all you need is the Plex media server installed on your PC. Once you have things configured and the app installed in both places, you’re all set to start streaming and watching all your favorite content. A few caveats, as we stated above you need the Plex Media Server installed on your PC, and you have make sure that the computer is on with the media server running or you won’t be able to stream any of the content.
Plex doesn’t just let you stream content to your Android device though, it also lets you stream content through your device to the Chromecast, a feature that was piloted with the Plex Pass subscribers last year when it received Chromecast support initially, but is now available to all even if you don’t subscribe to Plex. While you don’t need a Plex Pass sub for the Chromecast support or to watch media while connected, you do need it for the capability to sync media to your device for offline viewing. Plex also just added Android TV support, so when those devices hit the market and consumers start picking them up, the one’s that use Plex as their app of choice will be able to stream to the Android TV as well as Chromecast. Another Plex Pass feature, allows for the streaming of media from connected cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box so you can stream media when the server is off, which is a great option if you’re Android device is still connected to the web but you don’t want to leave your PC on and running. What is probably the most used feature, the Chromecast support, is free to use you just have to have a free Plex account and the media server setup, but for the monthly fee of $3.99 for the Plex Pass(or $29.99 annually and $74.99 for lifetime)users will get the extras that can come in handy.
You can also use Plex to queue online videos from sites like YouTube, and Vimeo, and there is access to a wide range of online channels like TWiT, Revision3, and TED. When you get right down to it, Plex has some awesome features and certainly holds its own against other similar apps.
Allcast is another really great streaming media application for use with your Android device. Some great things about Allcast are that it only features the one time fee of $4.99, so there is no monthly cost to stream content from your device to your TV afterwards and you get all of the features that the app includes. The other cool thing is that Allcast doesn’t require you to have a PC side application installed like a server that is online and running to stream. It accomplishes this by letting you stream content that is locally stored on your device, or by pulling it from Google Drive, Dropbox or other cloud services, which can be done from the apps right on your phone.
Allcast also works with a myriad of different devices to stream to, like Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV in due time most likely, and a handful of other devices like Xbox 360, Xbox One, DLNA enabled TV’s, Apple TV, Roku, smart TV’s from Samsung, Sony and Panasonic, and of course the PS3 and PS4. Allcast doesn’t provide as pretty of an interface as Plex, but then again it still gets the job done and there is no monthly fee for some of the features like there is with Plex, and it might arguably work with more devices. Allcast, like Plex, will also let you stream photos to your TV and not just other media like TV shows and movies, making it great for sharing pictures with friends and family.
So there you have it. Two great apps for streaming media content to the big screen, although one also offers the added option of streaming content on your device that is stored locally on a personal media server, while the other just makes it simple to stream your videos and other media using your device. Both have great features to offer, but which one do you use? Which one is your favorite app and who deserves the crown out of these two media streaming apps? Cast your vote in the poll below.