New chromecast apps 2015

New chromecast apps 2015 DEFAULT

Google Chromecast review (2015): Not much new, but still worth $35

The original Chromecast proved that big surprises can come in small packages. Even though it was just a $35 HDMI dongle the size of a pack of gum, it had the power to transform any TV into a smart one, as long as you had a smartphone, tablet or computer nearby. Sure it wasn't as full-featured as other media streamers, but for the price, it was a bargain. Fast-forward to 2015, and there's a brand-new Chromecast in town with a new look and a promise of faster speeds, all at the same price. No, it's not that much better than the original, but it still delivers great bang for your buck.

Gallery: Google Chromecast review (2015) | 24 Photos


  • Inexpensive
  • Compatible with most popular video streaming services
  • Supports dual-band 802.11ac for faster and more reliable WiFi
  • Improved app makes search and discovery easier


  • Still just 1080p
  • Needs a separate device to act as a remote control
  • Doesn't have native support for Amazon Instant Video

Hardware and setup

While the original Chromecast took the form of a chunky stick, the 2015 model looks more like a hockey puck with a 4-inch HDMI cable attached. The reasoning behind this new design was to accommodate TVs with HDMI ports that are too narrow for the first Chromecast. Indeed, the original even came with an HDMI extender to fit in those tight spaces. Thanks to that short, flat cable on the new model, however, the extender is no longer needed. The only potential downside is you'd have to have it hanging off your TV in a rather unsightly way, but if your set's ports are mostly on the rear, it shouldn't be an issue.

If you decide to carry the new Chromecast around with you, that HDMI cable has a tiny magnet at the end of it that snaps easily to the rear of the device when folded over, which makes it a little more portable. It also now comes in three different colors -- red, yellow and black -- which seems a little silly if it's tucked out of sight, but it's a nice little touch all the same, especially if you plan on giving this as a stocking stuffer. (Note that the red and yellow versions are available only on the Google Play Store.) Other design improvements include the addition of a small reset button located on the side that you can use to power-cycle the Chromecast in case it crashes or gets stuck. There's an LED power indicator as well.

Setting up the new Chromecast is as easy as ever. Just like the original, the new version has a micro-USB port that you can attach to either your TV if it has a USB connection or the included power adapter. Once you have it all plugged in, you'll be prompted to go to Google's Chromecast setup URL, where you're encouraged to download the new Android or iOS app to setup your new device (more on this app later). Google also supports the ability to set up your Chromecast on Windows (7 and higher) as long as you download the desktop Chrome app. Even though it's not available right now, it appears that you'll also be able to do so on Mac OS X (10.7 and up) in the future. I used both the Android and iOS apps and the process was pretty straightforward -- you're basically telling the Chromecast which WiFi network to use, along with any associated WiFi password. While you're doing that, you can also assign a name to your Chromecast, which is useful if you have more than one in your home.

Another major hardware difference between the new Chromecast and the old one is that the new model supports dual-band WiFi 802.11ac (2.4/5GHz). This means that the streaming should not only be faster, but also perform better in congested areas like apartment buildings since the 2.4GHz frequency is typically more crowded than the 5Ghz one. The rest of the internals, on the other hand, are pretty similar to what we saw on the original: There's a slightly improved processor (the Marvell ARMADA 1500 Mini Plus SoC), the same 512MB of SDRAM and the same display resolution of 1080p.

Features and software

As far as features go, not much has changed. Just like the original Chromecast, the new model lets you cast video from any compatible app to your TV. Simply tap the little cast logo in the app, select the name of your Chromecast from the menu and voila, you're ready to go. Most popular video-streaming apps are already Chromecast-compatible. They include Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, YouTube, WatchESPN, CBS and of course, Google Play. Also on board are sports apps like NFL, MLS and MLB.TV, and the new Showtime Anytime app. The most glaring exception appears to be Amazon Instant Video, which appears to have opted out, at least for now.

With so many compatible apps, it can be a chore to figure out just what shows are available to watch. That's where the new Chromecast application comes in -- it's the same one that you'd have downloaded to set up the Chromecast in the first place. Announced alongside the new hardware, the new app is really the star of the show in that it brings much-needed search and discovery to the party. It's available on Android and iOS and is compatible with both the old and new Chromecasts.

Search is certainly one of the app's more useful features. Instead of having to hop in and out of a dozen different apps, you can simply enter in a keyword -- say, The X-Files -- to see just what apps and services the show is on. You can enter in the keyword either by typing or with Google's voice search. From there, you can simply hit "Watch" and your app of choice will launch. The downside so far is that search only brings up results from certain apps -- Netflix, Hulu and Google Play options will show up, but nothing from HBO Go, for example. However, I'm told that it's possible for them to be added to search later on. There's also a "What's On" tab that displays a rotating carousel of shows from various services like Netflix and YouTube, as long as the app is already installed on your phone. What I also appreciated was a list of Chromecast-compatible apps and games that you can get from the Google Play store. And of course, you can change the backdrop image of what's on your Chromecast screen via the app too.

Gallery: Google's new Chromecast app | 18 Photos

Aside from TV shows and movies, you can also send whatever's on your Chrome browser to your Chromecast-enabled TV just as before. Although it's currently in experimental mode, you're also able to mirror your entire desktop screen on your TV, not just your browser. If you'd rather play music instead of video, popular streaming apps like Rdio, Spotify and Google Music are supported as well. However, you might consider Google's new Chromecast Audio instead if you're more of an audiophile who'd rather play songs through a pair of good speakers than your TV. And if you feel like sharing vacation photos with your friends instead, the new Google Photos app now supports Chromecast too.

It's worth noting here that because the Chromecast has no remote control, you'll have to use your phone or tablet to control playback and volume levels. That isn't a problem most of the time, but when I'm home, I usually prefer to have my devices sitting in the charger rather than on my living room table. The Chromecast does support an HDMI-CEC protocol that lets you use any TV remote with it, but this capability varies from TV to TV.

Other noteworthy features include a guest PIN so that your visitors can control the Chromecast without having to log onto the network, plus a Fast Play mode that automatically queues up the next video in the playlist as you're finishing the last one. Fast Play wasn't available for testing at the time of this review, although Google tells us that third-party apps should start supporting it before the end of the year.


There's really not much different between the old and new Chromecast in terms of functionality. The feature set is identical, and the setup is the same as well. The biggest difference is that the new Chromecast promises faster speeds. I compared both the old and new devices by loading videos from Netflix, Hulu and YouTube and found that the new Chromecast is indeed faster overall. On the old model, Netflix videos loaded in about nine to 10 seconds while they appeared in just five or so seconds with the new Chromecast. Hulu videos displayed about eight seconds faster while YouTube videos loaded about seven seconds faster. Obviously, the speeds will vary depending on the video quality and your network at home, but the new Chromecast's hardware updates do appear to have improved performance.

That said, I don't think the difference of a few seconds is that important. The load time on the old Chromecast never really bothered me, and I don't care much if a video loads seven seconds faster. The difference would really be if you live in an apartment building or neighborhood where the 2.4GHz frequency is congested, and thereby likely to slow down your WiFi connection. With the new Chromecast's support for the lesser-used 5GHz frequency, that should free up a lot more bandwidth for your video-watching needs.

The competition

In the increasingly crowded field of media streamers, the Chromecast has plenty of competition. Its biggest rivals are arguably Roku, Apple and Amazon. Both Roku and Amazon offer HDMI stick versions of their streamers, which go up directly against the Chromecast. The Roku Streaming Stick is $50 and comes with a remote control. The Amazon Fire TV Stick, on the other hand, is $40 and also comes with a remote, although there's also a voice remote version of the Fire TV Stick that is $50. Both have their own TV-centric UI so smartphone/tablet apps aren't necessary, and both also have native support for Amazon's Instant Video, which the Chromecast lacks. Unlike the new Chromecast however, they only support 802.11a/b/g/n and not the faster 802.11ac.

But if you're willing to cough up more money, Roku's and Amazon's more expensive set-top offerings pack in a lot more features. They all have remote controls and Ethernet ports, which is handy for when WiFi is too unreliable. The newly released Roku 4 supports 4K video, dual-band 802.11ac and voice search, plus a remote-finder ability. The new Amazon Fire TV also supports 4K video, dual-band 802.11ac and it even has a microSD card slot for external storage. Of course, the Roku 4 and Amazon Fire TV are much more expensive at $130 and $100, respectively (you can also still get the older Roku 3 for $100), but that much added functionality is certainly worth it. And, of course, if you're an iTunes die-hard, Apple's latest TV offering is really your only option at $149.

Alternatively, you could also opt for the Nexus Player or the NVIDIA Shield TV, both of which use Google's new Android TV interface. The former is just $99 while the latter is $200. Both have dual-band 802.11ac, but the Shield TV is certainly the better of the two thanks to its 4K support and beefier Tegra X1 processor.


In the end, the new Chromecast is really less of a 2.0 product and more of a 1.1. Yes, the new internals are improved and the support for dual-band 802.11ac makes it better for those who want a faster and more reliable signal. The new circular design with the attached cable makes it easier to fit in the rear of most TVs and it's also a lot cuter. But it's otherwise not too different from the original Chromecast. If you were satisfied with the WiFi performance of the old one, then I see no reason to upgrade at all. The real differentiator is the new Chromecast app for search and discovery, and as that's available on both versions of the hardware, I would simply stick with the old one.

But if you somehow haven't picked up a Chromecast yet, then you should certainly look into one. Although it lacks the bells and whistles of the competition, its bargain-basement price bundled in with its plethora of features makes it the best deal in entertainment-media streamers today. Certainly, don't feel like you should get one if you can afford a beefier set-top option, but if you simply want to dip your toe in cord-cutter waters without spending a lot of money, the Chromecast is definitely the way to go.

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List of apps with Google Cast support

List of apps that can be cast to a TV with Google Cast, via Wi-Fi

The following is a partial list of apps with Google Cast support, and the platforms on which each can run. The first Google Cast receiver released was Google's Chromecast in July 2013; a digital media player in the form of an HDMIdongle, the device streams media wirelessly via Wi-Fi after a selection is made through a supported mobile or web app, such as those listed below. Unofficial Google Cast receivers followed, before Google released a second official receiver, the Nexus Player, in November 2014.

For information on Chromecast's app history and software development kit, see Chromecast software development kit and compatible apps.

* = PC-compatible (computers running Windows, macOS, Linux, or Chrome OS) web apps cited here require the Chromebrowser, with the Google Cast extension[1] installed, and have support for casting built into the website itself, without the need for "tab casting."

Table of Google Cast compatible apps[edit]

Name PC*AndroidiOSVendorType
5by[2]Yes Yes Yes StumbleUponVideo
AllCast[3]No Yes Yes ClockworkModMultimedia
AllConnect[4]No Yes Yes Tuxera
Amazon Prime VideoNo Yes Yes, Inc.Video
AOL On[5]No Yes Yes AOL/Verizon MediaVideo
ARD[6]Yes Yes Yes ARDMultimedia
BBC America[7]Yes Yes Yes BBC AmericaVideo
BBC iPlayer (UK only)[8]Yes Yes Yes BBCMultimedia
BBC Sport (UK only)[9]No Yes Yes Video
Boomerang[10]No Yes Yes Warner Bros.
Big Web Quiz for Chromecast[11]No Yes Yes GoogleGame
blinkbox Movies (UK only)[12]No Yes Yes TescoVideo
blinkbox Music (UK only)[13]No Yes Yes Audio
BritBox UK (UK only)[14]No Yes Yes BritBox SVOD Ltd Video
BT Sport (UK only)[15]No Yes Yes BT Group
BTN2Go[16]No Yes Yes Big Ten Conference
CanalPlay (France only)[17]Yes Yes Yes Canal+
Cartoon Network[18]No Yes Yes Warner Bros.
CBC[19]Yes Yes Yes Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
CBS[20]Yes Yes Yes ViacomCBS
CBS Sports[21][22]Yes Yes Yes CBS Interactive
Checkers For Chromecast[23]No No Yes David Phan Game
CinemaNow[24][25]No Yes Yes CinemaNow Video
Cmore[26]No Yes Yes Cmore
Comedy Central[27]No Yes Yes ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks
Connect Four Quads[11]No Yes Yes HasbroGame
Crackle[28]Yes Yes Yes Crackle Video
Crunchyroll[29]Yes Yes Yes Crunchyroll
CuriosityStream[30]Yes Yes Yes CuriosityStream
DailyBurn[31]Yes Yes Yes IAC/InterActiveCorp
Dailymotion[32]No Yes Yes Vivendi
Deezer (available in select regions[33])[34]No Yes Yes Deezer Audio
Discovery Go[35]No Yes Yes Discovery, Inc. Video
Disney+[36]Yes Yes Yes The Walt Disney Company
DramaFever[37]No Yes Yes Warner Bros.
DRTV[38]N/A Yes Yes Danish Broadcasting Corporation
DS Audio[39] (requires Synology NAS device) No Yes Yes Synology Inc.Audio
DS Video[39] (requires Synology NAS device) No Yes Yes Video
Encore Play[27]Yes Yes Yes Starz Inc./Lionsgate
Epix Go[27]No Yes Yes Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
ErosNow[40][41]No Yes Yes Eros International
Eurosport Player[42]Yes Yes Yes Discovery Networks Northern Europe
Flixster (US only)[43]Yes Yes Yes Fandango Media, LLC.
FOX NOW[44]Yes Yes Yes Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Sports Go[45][46][47]Yes Yes Yes[48]Yes Yes Yes France TélévisionsMultimedia
Fullscreen[49]Yes Yes Yes FullscreenVideo
FXNOW[44]Yes Yes Yes FX Network LLC
Gaiam TV[50][51]No Yes Yes Gaiam
Google Photos[52]Yes Yes Yes GooglePhoto
Google PodcastsNo Yes Yes Audio
Google Santa Tracker[53]Yes Yes No Multimedia
Google Slides[54][55]Yes Yes Yes Presentation
Google TV[56][57]Yes Yes Yes Video
HBO MaxYes Yes Yes Home Box Office Inc.Video
HBO Nordic[58]Yes Yes Yes
HGTV Watch[59]No Yes Yes Discovery, Inc.
Hoopla[60][61]Yes Yes Yes Midwest Tape LLC
Hulu Plus[62][63]No Yes Yes Hulu
iHeartRadio[37]Yes Yes Yes iHeartMediaAudio
Just Dance Now[11]No Yes Yes UbisoftGame[64]No Yes Yes Major League BaseballVideo
MLS Live[52]No Yes Yes Major League Soccer
Monopoly Dash[11]No Yes Yes HasbroGame
MusicSync No Yes No Audio
Napster (UK only)[65]No Yes Yes NapsterAudio
NBA Game Time (non-USA)[66]Yes Yes Yes National Basketball AssociationVideo
Nebula Yes Yes No Standard Broadcast LLC.
Netflix[67]Yes Yes Yes Netflix, Inc.
NFL Game Pass (non-USA)[68][69][70]Yes Yes Yes National Football League
NFL Now[71]No No Yes NFL Enterprises LLC
NFL Sunday Ticket[72]Yes Yes Yes DirecTV, LLC
Nick[27]No Yes Yes ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks
Now TV (UK only)[73]No Yes Yes Sky UK
NPO (Dutch)[74]Yes Yes Yes Nederlandse Publieke OmroepMultimedia
NPR One[75]No Yes Yes NPRAudio
NRK TV Yes Yes Yes NRKVideo
Pac-12 Now[76][77]No Yes Yes Pac-12 Networks
Pandora[78]No Yes Yes Pandora Media, Inc. Audio
PBS Video[79]No Yes Yes Public Broadcasting ServiceVideo
PBS Kids[80]No Yes Yes
PlayOn[81]Yes (Windows only)Yes Yes MediaMall Technologies, Inc. Multimedia
Plex[82]Yes Yes Yes Plex
Pluto.TV[83][84]No Yes Yes Pluto.TV Video
Popcorn TimeYes Yes Yes Pochoclín
PornHub[85]Yes Yes Yes PornHub
PostTV[86] (aka "The Washington Post" app) Yes Yes Yes (iPad only)The Washington Post Company
radioPup[87]No Yes Yes Townsquare MediaAudio
RaiPlayNo Yes Yes RAIVideo
Rdio[28]Yes Yes Yes Rdio Audio
RealPlayer Cloud[88]Yes Yes Yes RealNetworksVideo
Red Bull TV[82]Yes Yes Yes Red Bull GmbH
Redbox Instant[89] (service shutdown on July 10, 2014[90]) No Yes No Redbox & Verizon
Revision3[91]Yes Yes Yes Revision3
Rev3Games[92]No No Yes Revision3
Rhapsody[65]No Yes Yes RhapsodyAudio
RTHK Screen[93]No Yes No Radio Television Hong KongVideo - A la carta No Yes Yes RTVE
Scrabble Blitz[11]No Yes Yes HasbroGame
Sesame Street Go[27]Yes Yes Yes Sesame WorkshopVideo
Showtime[72]Yes Yes Yes Showtime Networks
Showtime Anytime[11]Yes Yes Yes
Simon Swipe[11]No Yes Yes HasbroGame
SlingPlayer[94] (requires Slingbox device) No Yes Yes Sling MediaVideo
Sling TV[95]No Yes Yes Sling TV, LLC
SomaFM[82]No Yes Yes SomaFM Audio
Songza[82][96]Yes Yes Yes Songza
SoundCloud[citation needed]Yes Yes Yes SoundCloud Ltd.
Sportsnet[citation needed]No Yes No Rogers Digital Media Video
Spotify[72]Yes Yes Yes Spotify Ltd. Audio
StadiaYes Yes No List of apps with Google Cast supportVideo
Starz Play[11]Yes Yes Yes Starz Inc./LionsgateVideo
SVT Play[97]Yes Yes Yes Sveriges Television
TED[98][99]No Yes Yes TED Conferences
TidalNo Yes Yes Tidal Audio
TrueConf [100]No Yes No TrueConfMultimedia
TuneIn Radio Play[27]Yes Yes Yes TuneIn Radio Audio
TV4 Play[101]No Yes Yes TV4 GroupVideo
Twitch[102]Yes Yes Yes Twitch
UFC[103]Yes Yes Yes Ultimate Fighting Championship
USA NOW No No Yes NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Vevo[82]Yes Yes Yes VEVO, LLC
Viaplay[104]Yes Yes Yes Viasat
VidZoneNo Yes No VidZone Digital Media
Viki[105]Yes Yes Yes Viki Inc
Vimeo[106][107]No Yes Yes IAC
VLC media player[108]Yes Yes Yes VideoLAN
VOA[109][110]No Yes Yes Voice of AmericaAudio
VRT NU[111]No Yes Yes VRT NVVideo
VUDU[112]Yes Yes Yes VUDU
WatchABC[75]No Yes Yes American Broadcasting Company
WatchDisneyChannel[37]No Yes Yes Disney Channels Worldwide
WatchDisneyJunior[37]No Yes Yes
WatchDisneyXD[37]No Yes Yes
WatchESPN[52]No Yes Yes ESPN Inc.
Watch TBS[113]No Yes Yes WarnerMedia
Watch TNT[113]No Yes Yes
Wheel of Fortune[11]No Yes Yes Sony Pictures TelevisionGame[114]Yes Yes Yes RakutenVideo
Yle Areena[115]No Yes Yes Yle
YouTube[116]Yes Yes Yes Google
YouTube MusicNo Yes Yes Audio
YouTube TVYes Yes Yes Video
YuppTV Play[27]No Yes Yes YuppTV
Zattoo[117]Yes Yes Yes Zattoo
ZDF[118]Yes Yes Yes ZDF Mediathek Multimedia
Ziggo GO[119]No Yes Yes ZiggoVideo


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Google Chromecast (2015) review: Phone-centric puck still a great value, but not as your main streamer

It was the summer of 2013. I had installed the original Chromecast, a finger-sized video player that looks like a USB stick, behind the TV at the house our family rents every year in Virginia Beach. Myself and a few high-school and early college-age relations were gathered in the living room one evening, bored by Shark Week. I pulled out my laptop and within moments a YouTube video, I think it was "Double Rainbow" (I was trying to relate) appeared on the screen.

"Cool. Can I try?" asked a cousin. I passed her the laptop. "This is hilarious," she said as she typed in a keyword. On the screen appeared the indelible images of a honey badger doing its thing romping through the desert, eating a snake, accompanied by mournful violin music and the increasingly disgusted exclamations of the narrator. "The honey badger has been referred to by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most fearless animal of all. It really doesn't give a $%!*."

For the next hour or so as the kids one-upped each other playing "Have you seen this?" with various videos; we were all cracking up. I showed them how to connect their phones to the screen and their enthusiasm peaked, taking over one another when the fodder wasn't entertaining enough. It was a blast.

I've owned the original Chromecast (left) since it debuted two-and-a-half years ago, and while that YouTube fest was arguably worth the price I paid by itself, it's also one of the few times I've used it. At home, and even on vacation, I usually stream Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other apps via a Roku box, because I really want the convenience of a dedicated remote control (among other advantages). Chromecast doesn't have a remote, so you need a phone, tablet or PC to use it. And I don't watch much YouTube, so I don't need to find a new video every two minutes.

But plenty of people, especially kids like my cousins, live their lives on their phones and watch a large portion of their video via YouTube and other short clips. For them, the cheap, phone-centric Chromecast is a natural fit -- and might even be the streamer of choice. At $35 in the US, £30 in the UK and AU$59 in Australia, it's basically an impulse purchase, and its versatility -- including the ability to wirelessly project your computer screen to the TV -- is a major draw.

If you already own the original Chromecast and are thinking about getting the new one, belay that impulse for a moment. In my testing, they were very similar as long as I was in a place with decent Wi-Fi. The main advantage of the new Chromecast comes in places where the signal is weaker or crowded with other Wi-Fi signals.

In classic Google fashion, the biggest upgrade to Chromecast comes via new software, which is free, and works equally well with both the old and new versions of the device. The software, with its cross-app search, browsing options and easier app discovery, brings Chromecast closer to competing with Roku and other streamers. I still don't recommend Google's little puck as the primary source for streaming to your main TVs at home, but for parties, travel and temporary connections, it's worth having a Chromecast in your arsenal.

And if you're interested in being able to wirelessly stream music to your AV system, using an app on your phone and without having to turn on the TV, check out Chromecast Audio .

What the puck is that?

If you're unfamiliar with Chromecast, it can take some getting used to.

In short, it's one of the cheapest ways to watch apps like Netflix and YouTube, and listen to music from services like Spotify and Pandora, as well as view photos, Web pages and other stuff, on your TV. Instead of using a remote control to select items from a menu on your TV screen, you control everything through the apps on your phone or tablet, and the video and sounds appear on your TV and audio system.

To use Chromecast, you'll need a TV with HDMI that's in range of decent Wi-Fi network with a broadband Internet connection, and a smartphone or tablet running Android or iOS (iPhones or iPad) or a computer with the Chrome browser, complete with the Google Cast extension, installed. In case you're in a place without access to Wi-Fi, the Google sells a $15 Ethernet adapter for Chromecast.

The device itself is just a bunch of antennas and electronics crammed into a circular puck exactly two inches in diameter, colored your choice of hideous pastel-yellow ("Lime"), disgusting reddish-orange ("Coral"), or black. From one side protrudes a nondetachable, flat gray cable exactly 4 inches long, terminating in the most common type of audio/video connector: HDMI.

Chromecast will spend most of its life connected to an HDMI port hidden behind your TV. A clever magnet lets the puck fold up against the flat cable when plugged in, and also makes a neater package when you take it on the road.

The integrated cable is one of the main design differences between the old and new Chromecast. The old version looked more like a standard USB thumbdrive, and it was often impossible to fit into the cramped confines of many flat-panel TV backsides. Google included a separate HDMI extender for just such circumstances, an elegant solution (until you lost it). The new version is definitely more practical, if kinda awkward-looking in comparison.

Opposite that cable is a port into which you'll plug the included gray power cable. Just like any device, Chromecast needs power (and it won't work with powered HDMI ports, known as MHL, found on some TVs). That power can come either from a USB port on your TV, or from the included gray power adapter. The advantage plugging the Chromecast into the wall, as opposed to your TV's USB port, is that you don't have to wait the 20-odd seconds after you turn on the TV for it to be ready. Performance is the same no matter how you power the device.

So how exactly does it work?

Wi-Fi, apps and your phone, dude.

Once Chromecast is plugged in and powered up, you'll turn to its TV input and be prompted to install the Chromecast app from either the Google Play Store (for Android phones and tablets) or Apple's App Store (for iPhones and iPads). If you don't have one of these devices, you can't set up Chromecast.

Setup using the app is commendably pain-free. Aside from giving your Chromecast a name, like "Living Room" or "Cletus," the main work involves selecting a Wi-Fi network for Chromecast to use for streaming.

The biggest advantage of the new Chromecast compared to the old one is compatibility with 5GHz Wi-Fi networks, which generally suffer from less interference than their 2.4GHz counterparts. Less interference means more reliable streaming, especially in crowded areas or near devices that emit 2.4GHz interference, like microwave ovens or Bluetooth devices. If you have a 5GHz home network available, you should use it for Chromecast (and for every other Wi-Fi device).

One it's connected to the network (and perhaps fetches a software update), Chromecast will be ready to stream. Said status is indicated on your TV screen and by its appearance, complete with a pretty screen-saver picture, under the "Devices" tab. (For now the updated Chromecast app is still "coming soon" to iOS devices, so Chromecasts will appear under "Home" on iPhones and iPads until the update rolls out.)

To stream an app, such as Netflix, using Chromecast, you have two options. The traditional method is to open up the Netflix app on your phone or tablet and tap the little 'cast icon -- it looks like a TV with a Wi-Fi signal on the lower right. Up pops a menu listing the various devices available to 'cast to, which should include the name of the Chromecast you just set up. Tap it and the image on the TV changes from a pretty picture to the last episode of "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," or whatever. You pause, resume and skip playback, search for and select new episodes, or choose different apps to cast, all using your phone as the controller.

The other option is to find TV shows and movies, and launch the required apps, using the updated Chromecast app. More on that below.

For all of this to work properly you not only need a decent Wi-Fi connection, but also the app itself installed on your phone and an active subscription, if required. The app also needs to support Chromecast, meaning that its developer needs to make it compatible with Google's streamer. Most major apps are compatible, but a handful -- most notably Amazon Instant Video -- are not.

Chief among the new additions is Spotify, support for which has been a much-wanted feature ever since the original Chromecast debuted more than two years ago. For now it only works with the new Chromecast, although Spotify says the app will get an update soon that allows it to work with the old Chomecast, too. Both the free and premium versions of Spoify work with Chromecast.

Other services new to Chromecast include Showtime (the new cord-cutter-friendly one; the original Showtime Anytime app has supported Chromecast for awhile), Sling TV (Chromecast support has been promised since launch), and numerous sports apps including the official streaming video apps of the NBA, NHL and NFL Sunday Ticket. The Google Photos app will also support Chromecast as well.

You mentioned the new Chromecast app?

You bet I did. The most exciting thing about the new Chromecast isn't its shape or color, but the fact that Google also launched a new version of the app that brings the device closer to competing against rivals like Roku, Apple and Amazon Fire TV. And yes, that app works perfectly well with the old Chromecast, too.

A growing, welcome trend in streaming devices is cross-app integration, where a Search or Browse option scours multiple apps and surfaces results in one place. It's a big reason why I like Roku so much, and search in Chromecast's new app is remarkably like Roku's. It's not as content-agnostic or transparent, but it's better than nothing (which is what Chromecast used to have) and integrates apps much better than Amazon Fire TV or even Google's own Android TV. In case you're wondering, the current Apple TV doesn't offer any kind of cross-app search or browse.

Search for a movie or TV show using the Chromecast app and you'll get a results page that shows which of your installed apps offer the content. Ideally, at least. The search currently hits Netflix, Hulu, FXNow, Crackle, HBO Go, and of course YouTube and Google Play Movies and TV. Google Play has pretty much everything, but it's available (like with Amazon and iTunes on other platforms) on a pay basis. I also noticed that Hulu's movies didn't appear in search, although its TV shows did.

Results from apps like HBO Now, M-Go, Vudu, Sling TV, Showtime (including Showtime Anytime), CBS and Watch ESPN, among many others, are not surfaced. Google says it will add more apps to the search catalog in the future. Likewise, the Chromecast app doesn't search audio apps, just movies and TV shows. It did return results for actors ("Jessica Alba" surfaced a bunch of her movies, for example), as well as genre and specialty searches ("science fiction," "rom com" and "cute kittens" all gave pleasingly relevant results).

You can type in search terms or search via voice, and as usual, Google was very good at recognizing the words I spoke into my phone. Executed properly, as it is here, voice search is a lot easier to use than a keyboard, especially since you'll need your phone in your hand anyway.

Like Google's Android TV system, the app also shows a selection of TV shows, videos and movies to browse across apps, categorized under the "What's On" tab. YouTube gets the first position, followed by Netflix. You'll have to scroll down to get to Hulu, Google Play, Watch ESPN, Crackle and CBS. No other app is included on the What's On screen; the remainder of your 'cast-compatible installed apps appear below as a bunch of icons. The suggestions under "What's On" also doesn't appear to learn your preferences; no matter how many times I selected "Narcos," for example, the first show promoted under Netflix was "Orange is the New Black."

In every case, actually selecting a TV show, movie or app from the Chromecast app launches the required third-party app to actually start playback. Once that happens, you'll again have to hit the 'cast icon from within the app to get the video to appear on your TV.

The final tab, "Get Apps," serves as a hub to discover more 'cast-compatible apps. It's the best way yet to discover more stuff you can stream to the TV, and the Chromecast app is smart enough to only suggest apps you don't already have installed. At the bottom a link to "Browse all apps" takes you to the firehose of 'cast apps at the Google Play Store.

So what's it like to use?

Chromecast works very well, but as I mentioned above, I still prefer Roku or another device that uses an actual remote control as my daily streamer. Physical remotes with tactile buttons are simply better and easier to use than screens for most common control tasks.

In a living room environment, I like to keep my phone in my pocket, or charging in the bedroom. Even if I had it within reach all the time, I find it much less convenient to grab it, unlock it and start up the app to get to what I want to watch. If I want to stop watching for a break, or rewind to catch something I missed, it's easier to hit the button on a remote than to root around for the command on my phone.

I also like the fact that I can use a remote without having to look at it, simply by feel. I prefer not to have to divide my attention among two screens when watching TV. And since I consider a nice universal remote essential for any decent AV system, I'd like to be able to use it, as opposed to my phone, to control streaming.

For more reasons why I prefer dedicated remote over my phone, check out Forget smartphone remotes: Here's why real buttons win.

It's worth noting that Chromecast does support HDMI-CEC, which is a protocol for passing remote commands via HDMI. Using it, some TVs can also switch inputs to Chromecast automatically once it fires up, and some TV remotes can control some Chomecast commands directly in some apps. Watching Netflix on my Samsung TV, for example, I was able to pause and resume playback using the TV remote. On the other hand, rewind and fast-forward didn't work. Your mileage may vary.

You can usually get to what you want to watch faster on devices like the Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV than you can on Chromecast. With the Netflix app open on my phone and the show I wanted queued up, it still took 10 seconds from issuing the 'cast command until something appeared on-screen. The older Chromecast took even longer, and different apps took more or less time (see below for more; in case you're wondering, I have yet to notice a big improvement as a result of Google's so-called Fast Play feature). Today's streaming boxes, meanwhile, take just a couple of seconds to launch apps, and a couple more before you're watching your stories.

Otherwise, streaming with a Chromecast is very similar to a more traditional device. And depending on how comfortable and proficient you are at tapping away on your phone, using it might just seem more natural then using a regular device with a physical remote.

Perhaps you always have your phone with you, and often have it unlocked, when watching TV. Maybe you don't use a universal remote, and you find it annoying to keep track of another clicker for your streaming device. And maybe you just like the idea of controlling your TV via your phone. If that's the case, maybe Chromecast's lack of a remote is a plus for you.

Any other cool stuff it can do?

Hells yeah. One of the most popular is the ability to 'cast a tab from a Chrome browser using the Google Cast extension. You can use this feature to display Web pages on the TV screen, anything from Facebook to Instagram to Google Docs to, yes, Amazon Instant Video.

Aside from Apple's iTunes, Amazon's is the only major streaming video service to lack official Chromecast support, making it a prime candidate (pun not intended) for so-called tabcasting. When I did so, using a robust computer and an excellent Web connection, the results were still disappointing. The video looked quite soft -- much worse on the TV than on my computer -- and suffered from minor but noticeable stutter during fast motion. Sure you could watch it in a pinch, but if you watch a lot of Amazon content, you should choose a different streamer.

The Chromecast app also has a "Cast Screen / Audio" option that allows you to project whatever's on your phone or tablet screen, and/or playing via your phone's speaker, directly onto the TV. Just like tabcasting from a browser, it's useful for handling apps or web sites that don't support Chromecast. Or for quickly showing off photos or playing "infinite mirror" with your phone's camera. The function worked well in my testing; images were relatively sharp, and I liked that when I rotated my phone from a portrait (vertical) to landscape (horizontal) orientation, the image filled my widescreen TV nicely.

Chromecast also supports quite a few casual phone games. Google has recently talked up a new feature that allows developers to design games that use the phone as a controller and the TV as a separate display. One example Google demo'd is Angry Birds Go, where the phone's accelerometer was used to help steer the action on-screen, and split-screen play with dual phones/controllers is possible. A new version of Monopoly allows up to four phones to play on the same TV simultaneously. I didn't test gaming for this review.

Chromecast's screen saver -- the image that appears on your TV when the device is idle -- is quite well thought-out. The default settings draw from a bunch of beautiful images from art galleries and other sources, and you can click "more about this" in the app for additional info on the art. You can also customize the screen saver six ways from Sunday using the Backdrop menu, adding photo albums from Google Photos, Facebook (which draws from Instagram, too, if you have the two accounts linked), Flickr, Google Newsstand, satellite images and more.

Guest mode is a cool feature that enables others people in the room to 'cast to Chromecast even if they're not on the same Wi-Fi network. It worked well in my tests, and you can toggle it on or off in the app.

I mentioned travel just now, and it would seem like the tiny puck is the perfect hotel streaming companion. Not so fast. Chromecast works fine on standard Wi-Fi networks that just require a password, but many hotel, dorm and other public or pay-for-access Wi-Fi networks require you sign in via a special Web page, a procedure known as "captive portal." Just like the old Chromecast (and most other streaming devices), the new one cannot negotiate such networks; when I tried using the setup app, all I got were error messages. The only current streamers compatible with captive portal are the Amazon Fire TV box and stick.

What else did you test?

A bunch of stuff. Here's what I found.

Video: Video quality was generally very good, and every bit what I expect from a streaming device. The image quality didn't improve when I moved from a 2.4GHz to a 5GHz network, and wasn't any better on the new Chromecast versus the old one.

The issue I experienced came during Narcos on Netflix, and it happened twice: the video stuttered, looking very choppy to the point of being nearly unwatchable, and didn't recover quickly. Stopping and restarting playback didn't fix the issue, but disconnecting and reconnecting Chromecast from within the app did.

Of course, Chromecast won't do 4K like some newer streamers and Smart TVs, but given the rarity of 4K content, and the fact that non-4K stuff on services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now and others looks good enough for most viewers, that's not a major knock (especially at this price).

Audio: Just like the old Chromecast, the new one will pass Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound when directly connected to an HDMI receiver, provided the app supports it. In my tests of a few apps for Android, Netflix worked fine for Dolby Digital Plus and Plex and Vudu output Dolby Digital, but HBO Now, Showtime and Hulu did not. Of course, the content (TV show or movie) also has to have a surround soundtrack option.

I also tried connecting Chromecast to the HDMI input of a TV, the 2015 Vizio M series, that's capable of passing surround sound from other sources (like a Blu-ray player) out to an AV receiver via the TV's optical output. I only got stereo. It seems the Chromecast automatically downconverted to stereo because it sensed it was connected to a TV, and not a receiver.

Wi-Fi reception: I didn't find any big improvement in Wi-Fi stability--maintaining the same quality stream in weaker signal areas -- using the new Chromecast compared to the old one with 2.4 GHz networks. At the edges of such networks, both struggled the same amount to connect (as did my phone). In other words, if you don't have a 5GHz network at home, you won't get much connectivity boost from the new Chromecast.

As I mentioned above, however, the new device's ability to connect to the generally more stable 5GHz frequencies used by newer Wi-Fi routers and access points should improve stability if your old Chromecast is acting balky.

Loading speeds: As I mentioned above, Google's Fast Play feature doesn't seem to be active yet, or if it is, it doesn't make the massive improvement Google claimed.

I checked out a bunch of apps and conditions and arrived at a couple of takeaways. First off, the new Chromecast is slightly faster than the old one if both are on 2.4 GHz Networks, loading video -- from the time I tapped on the device on my phone to a video appearing on-screen -- anywhere from 2 to 5 seconds faster (Netflix and others) to 15 seconds faster (HBO Now). Second, the new Chromecast is faster on a 5GHz network, beating the new Chromecast on a 2.4 GHz network by an average of 2 seconds. As expected, connecting the new Chromecast to a 5GHz network provides the fastest speeds.

It's also worth remembering that you'll have to load the app and the video itself on your phone, so your network speed, and the speed of your phone's hardware, significantly affects the Chromecast experience.

So what do you really think?

If you're reading this review at work, you probably earned enough to buy a Chromecast in the time it took you to get to this conclusion. It's just that cheap, and for most people, especially the tech-inclined, it's an impulse purchase.

But if you're in the market for a primary streaming device, its lack of a remote and "real" onscreen display is a detriment. The excellent Amazon Fire TV Stick and Roku Stick cost just a few bucks more and offer those basic features, and both are better for everyday streaming use. But if you have a phone and a TV and a bit of disposable income, it's still worth owning a Chromecast, even if you don't use it all the time.

Updated October 7 with additional details on physical remotes, and mention of the app's "Cast Screen / Audio" feature.

With loads of Chromecast apps for Android in the market, we picked the 10 must-have Chromecast apps for android for you.

Let’s keep it real.

The bigger the screen size, the better. Especially when streaming or watching movies. That’s were Chromecast comes in and the needs for Chromecast apps for android arises.

Imagine this:

You paid a subscription for Netflix. However, since you do not own a SmartTV, you tend to watch movies on a much smaller screen such as your mobile phone or laptop.

If you’re watching all by yourself, somehow you can manage. But can you still do that if it’s a movie night or a slumber party at your house? I bet you can’t!

But there’s still hope! Google Chromecast will save your night!

Now, you might be asking…

“What is Chromecast?”

Basically, it’s a device that you plug into your TV so you can stream videos (or only audio) from various services, using your mobile phone apps (such as Netflix).

Note: You will need to connect both a mobile device and a Chromecast to the same WiFi.

The first generation of Chromecast was released on July 24, 2013. Being cheap and easy to set up, it attracted the attention of many Android users. A few years later, in October 2018, the third generation was released.


How to Chromecast Spotify: A Step-by-Step Guide

Google Chromecast Review: Is It Worth The Hype?

Google Chromecast: Which Version is the Best?

Best Chromecast Apps for Android

These are the best Chromecast apps for android arranged in their appropriate categories. Click on them to check them out or read on to learn more details about them.

There are various apps that can be used with Chromecast. However, we have tested and reviewed the best Chromecast Apps for Android.

1. Netflix


When talking about Chromecast, Netflix is the first app that comes to mind. It’s easy to connect and offers a wide variety of stuff to stream.

Usually, all streams will be in Full HD. If you have Chromecast Ultra, you can stream in resolutions up to 4K!

Quick and simple to set up

Of course, Netflix supports subtitles and alternative audio, such as other languages. The 5.1 Surround Sound is also available on some streams.

The app is free, and you can download it from the link below. However, you will have to pay subscription fees.

Google Play

2. BubbleUPnP


This is another, very useful app to use with Chromecast. It also allows you to play incompatible Chromecast media with transcoding.

Besides custom subtitles appearance, the app also has an integrated sleep-timer, full-screen image viewer and controller, and supports various shuffle modes.

Simple and intuitive interface

As you can see on the screenshot, you can also stream music from popular HiFi brands, and save it to SD card.

You can also play media to your Android device, from other devices.

Google Play

3. Hulu


This is a very similar streaming service to Netflix. Many people even pay for both services. However, if you are looking for a way to cut down your expenses, you might want to consider a subscription only to 1 of these 2 services. So, which one is better?

At first, as Netflix subscription fees are going up, Hulu seems to be a better alternative. On the other hand, Hulu doesn’t support 4K. It doesn’t even support offline downloads. However, Hulu can give you live TV, which Netflix can’t.

Simple and clean interface

Note that Hulu is available only in the United States. If you are not from the US, the decision is obviously to use Netflix.

After all, the number of supported devices is even. Both Netflix and Hulu support a wide variety of devices.

If you have decided to try Hulu app for your Chromecast, you can download it from the link below.

Google Play

4. iHeartRadio


Obviously, this is a radio app, so there are no movies or TV shows to stream.

The app is free, without any hidden charges. However, you can choose to upgrade, which will cost you a little.

iHeartRadio offers around 20 genre stations, with more than 400,000 artists and 15 million songs. You can also create a custom station, according to an artist or preferred genre. However, you are not able to create a playlist of your favorite songs.

Various genre stations to choose from

You can also upvote and downvote songs as they play, and see the current song score. Another bad thing is that you can’t record music while it’s playing.

However, the nice and intuitive interface, as well as tons of available music is what makes this app one of the best choices for radio streaming.

If you are an audiophile, you might be interested in The Best Google Chromecast Compatible Speakers.

Google Play

5. Movies Anywhere

Movies Anywhere

Movies Anywhere is a digital bridge between movie vendors. What does it mean? Basically, you can buy a movie on iTunes, and once you link accounts through Movies Anywhere, the movie will be available on Google Play or Amazon apps on your phone. It’s like if you merged all accounts into one. Isn’t that great?

Also, you can watch movies in 4K and even download them to watch later. You can also watch a maximum of 4 streams at one time.

One account and one password, for all purchased movies

Note that Movies Anywhere is available only for US citizens. However, after you create an account with the US IP address, you can then use it anywhere. Also, the app seems to work perfectly, with no glitches or issues.

Google Play

Also read:

How To Use Google Chromecast with Android

Apple Music For Android Hints At Chromecast Support

The Best Google Chromecast Compatible Speakers: Amazon Roundup

6. Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts is one of the world’s most powerful podcast platforms. You can enjoy your favorite shows without any kind of subscription.

The app algorithm automatically builds a playback queue, depending on the casts you listen to. You can also cut silences from episodes.

Lots of podcasts, and a customizable theme

If you prefer, you can change the play speed anytime. The range usually goes from 0.5 up to 3x. There is also a Volume Boost option, which increases the volume while reducing the background noise.

There are various themes to customize your own interface. Colors will also automatically change, to suit the podcast artwork. The interface is intuitive, simple and very easy to use. If you like to listen to podcasts, this app is definitely the best choice for you.

Google Play

7. Youtube and Youtube TV


Since Google is the owner of Youtube, it would be awkward if Chromecast was not supported. The setup process is incredibly easy – just connect mobile device and Chromecast to the same WiFi, tap the “Cast” button in the app, and that’s it.

Besides the usual Youtube videos, you can also watch Youtube TV. When you sign up, you can use it for free in the next 30 days. After the trial expires, you will have to pay a subscription fee of $49.99/month.

Youtube provides a great experience on Chromecast

Youtube offers over 70 channels of sport, news, and entertainment. The interface is very nice and highly usable.

However, note that Youtube TV is available only in some regions of the United States.

Google Play

8. Spotify


Spotify is a great app for streaming music, video and podcasts. You can use basic functions for free, or upgrade for Spotify Premium.

Either way, you will have access to millions of songs from artists all around the world. There are also personalized features, like Discover Weekly, Daily Mix, and Release Radar. These features will give you great recommendations when you are not sure what to listen to.

Pretty easy to use

You can also build collections of music, or even create your own radio stations.

Spotify is available on many devices, including computers, tablets, mobile phones, TVs and cars.

Google Play

9. Chrome Browser

Chrome Browser

You can also use the “Cast” function on your Chrome browser. Besides casting tabs, you can cast your whole desktop to the TV. Or even cast music or video files.

Incredibly easy to start a cast

It’s pretty easy to use. Just click on the 3-dots “more” button on the upper right side in your browser, and click on “Cast…”. If you are using this feature often, you might want to add a Cast button to the toolbar. When you click on “Cast…”, the button will be temporarily shown in the toolbar. Just right-click the button and choose “Always show icon”.

Google Play

10. Twitch


Twitch is the world’s leading streaming platform – but for gamers. There are tons of live streams in different game genres.

A few years ago, the most streamed games on Twitch were Counter-Strike and Dota 2. However, Twitch has evolved a lot, so you won’t feel that sameness among game streams again.

You might need to install the Google Cast extension

Streams are very reliable, and video issues are very, very rare. You can also broadcast yourself if you wish. Note that if you want Twitch to Chromecast from Web Player, you will need to install the Google Cast extension.

Google Play

Suggested reads:

How to Chromecast Netflix (Easy Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Set up Chromecast Using your Android Phone: A Beginner’s Guide

3 easy methods to cast your Android to TV (without Chromecast)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra?

Instead of a maximum of 1080p, Chromecast Ultra offers a 4K resolution and faster startup and streaming. However, the price is almost doubled.

Why do I need a Chromecast?

As mentioned, Chromecast can be very useful if you want to watch movies/listen to music or podcasts on a different device, then your mobile phone.

Are There Any Chromecast Alternatives?

Yes. Roku Streaming Stick+, Amazon Fire TV Cube, and Roku Ultra are great alternatives if you don’t want to use Chromecast.

What apps work with Chromecast?

Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney +, Prime Video, YouTube TV, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, Apple Music, TuneIn Radio, Audacy, and the list goes on. Here’s the complete list of apps that work with Chromecast. All of these are the important Chromecast apps for android.

Can I stream movies from my phone to TV?

Yes, there are many ways you can stream movie from your phone to TV. Using apps like Hulu, Netflix, Movies Anywhere, and YouTube, you can easily cast movies on phone to TV with the help of Chromecast. Alternatively, you can screen mirror your Android to TV.

Google Chromecast 3rd Generation

If you have decided to buy a Chromecast, be sure to check out the link below. Usually, the best products can be found directly on Amazon.

Google Chromecast

In The End

These are the best Chromecast Apps for Android. If you like to watch movies and/or listen to music, you should definitely check out Chromecast. After all, it’s not expensive and is really worth the money.

For all the podcasts lover, Pocket Casts is a perfect solution.

On the other hand, if you watch movies on a daily basis, you should definitely think about Netflix or Hulu subscription.

Have you used Chromecast before? What do you use it for? Please let us know in the comments below…Or if You have any suggestions for Chromecast apps for Android comment below..

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Chromecast 2015 new apps

20 best Chromecast apps for Google's streaming puck

The best Chromecast apps can turn the entertainment experience in your home from bland to brilliant. However, with so much choice you need to know which Chromecast apps are the best ones and worth your time and which you shouldn’t even bother downloading in the first place.

If you have a Google Chromecast and want to build a super entertaining Chromecast app library,  you’ve come to the right place. The TechRadar team has spent time testing out the newest Google Chromecast models (like the3rd gen Google Chromecast and the most recent Chromecast with Google TV), so we’re in the know when it comes to the top Chromecast apps you need to really make the most of your new streaming device.

It's been more than seven years since the original Chromecast launched. And, despite a lot of competition in the streaming space from the likes of the Now TV Smart Stick, Amazon's Fire TV Stick, and the Roku Streaming Stick, Google's popular streaming device is still going from strength to strength.

It’s hard not to love Google Chromecast. It has aneasy setup, low price tag, and a huge range of Chromecast apps to choose from. In fact, there's little reason not to pick up a Chromecast. The 3rd-gen Chromecast also sports a compact form factor. What's more, it's also one of the best-looking plug-in streamers you can buy for your TV since the Chromecast Ultra.

The best Chromecast apps span all kinds of different services and will suit all kinds of tastes. The problem is, it isn't always easy to find the apps you need in Google's content store. Especially considering there are more and more apps available every time you log-in – or at least it often seems that way. What’s more, some apps are only available for certain Chromecast devices. For example, you can now getApple TV Plus on your Google Chromecast with Google TV but not on a regular Chromecast, which can be confusing.

This is where we come in. Whether you’re looking to find new music, add new titles to your gaming library or stream the best movies and TV shows, we’ve selected the best Chromecast apps to allow you to do whatever you like with your Google Chromecast. Read our guide below for our top pick of the best Chromecast apps to get you started.

Best Chromecast apps: FAQ

  • What's the best Chromecast app for casting? AllCast (see 11 in this list).
  • What can I watch on Chromecast for free? Plenty! DailyMotion, YouTube, Crackle, and Crunchyroll all offer free streaming.
  • Is Netflix free on Chromecast? Downloading the app is free, but watching those Netflix shows isn't. Head to our Netflix plans guide for more info.
  • Does Chromecast come with built-in apps? Yes – that's part of the point! Plug a Chromecast into any dumb or smart TV, and you'll be able to access the Chromecast interface and app selection instead.
  • Is casting the same as mirroring? No: mirroring is when the entire screen of your source device shows up on a screen or monitor, whereas casting just shows content from a specific app.
  • Can you watch Disney Plus on a Chromecast? Yes.

1. Google Home

Download: iOS / Android

If you want the most essential app for your new Chromecast, you don't have to look too far. 

The Google Home app (formerly known as the Chromecast app) has always been a staple of the platform, but now it's more versatile than ever thanks to built-in universal search, content discovery and app recommendations. The app will also be your primary way to add more than one device if, say, you buy a second Chromecast for the upstairs bedroom.

The app itself is free, which is good because you need it to setup the device.

2. Netflix

Download: iOS / Android

Netflix is one of the best Chromecast-enabled apps. Tossing a TV show from your phone or mobile device is as simple as hitting the Cast button, and the results are near instantaneous. Offering hundreds of TV shows and movies as well as some of the best original programming this side of a premium cable subscription, Netflix should be your first stop on the road to building your Chromecast app collection.

While the app itself is free on iOS and Android, you'll need to be a Netflix subscriber in order to stream content. Plans start at $8.99/£6.99 a month.

Check out our handy guide about how to Chromecast Netflix.

3. HBO Now and HBO Go

Download: iOS / Android

This is a two-fer. Before HBO Now hit the scene, HBO Go was a fantastic way to stream some of your favorite HBO shows to the big screen. There was just one problem with it: HBO Go required a cable subscription.It wasn't until HBO Now was announced that our eyes were opened to the bigger picture. 

As a standalone streaming service like Netflix and Hulu, HBO Now unshackled itself premium cable packages, allowing users to watch shows like Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley without buying a whole cable package. After its short, three-month exclusivity contract with Apple came to a close in August 2015, it rocketed to the top as one of the best Chromecast-compatible streaming apps out there. All that said, if you've got a cable subscription with HBO already, HBO Go is still a fantastic functioning Chromecast app, too.

Like Netflix, the HBO Now app is free, but a subscription to the service costs $15/£9.50 a month. (Currently unavailable in Australia.)

  • HBO Max: what you need to know about the new platform

4. Google Play Movies & TV

Download: iOS / Android

Subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video are great in certain scenarios: because they're all you-can-stream, you never need to open up your wallet in between seasons. As a trade-off, however, you don't have the latest shows and movies at your fingertips. For that, we recommend the cross-platform compatible Google Play Movies & TV.

Using your Google account, you can instantly purchase and watch anything on the Play Store (think movies and TV shows from recently released blockbusters to videophile classics) without needing to download the content on your mobile device. Couple that with an easy-to-understand interface and seamless Chromecast compatibility, and the Google Play app quickly becomes the best piecemeal video service on either platform.

5. YouTube and YouTube TV

Download: iOS / Android

Even the stingiest of streamers can appreciate YouTube's fantastic and free Chromecast-enabled mobile app. It's interface is simplistically designed, just like the Chromecast itself, so it's only a matter of seconds from when you find a funny video until it's broadcast on your big screen.

As much as we love videos of puppies, though, when it's time to get back to watching real TV, we choose YouTube TV - the new live TV streaming service from YouTube. Like Sling TV or PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV allows you to watch cable TV all without a contract or expensive cable equipment. Not only is it a pretty great cable alternative, but it's a darn good Chromecast app, too. 

YouTube is free to download on both iOS and Android. YouTube TV costs $35 a month, and is available on PC, iOS and Android. It's also come to PlayStation consoles as the PlayStation Vue service leaves the platform.

 6. Slacker Radio (US only)

Download: iOS / Android

Once upon a time, we might've recommended that you download Rdio as your go-to Chromecast music streaming app. Unfortunately, however, the music streaming gods saw fit to cast Rdio into the abyss and, for awhile, the world was audio-less. But that was before we discovered Slacker Radio – the hip radio alternative that arguably does a better job finding music that you're going to like while sprinkling in little factoids about the songs and playlists you select. Set your stream to 128Kbps in the settings, sit back, relax and enjoy your new favorite streaming app. Let there be sound.

Slacker Radio is free on iOS and Android, but to hear songs at 320Kbps, you'll  need an Slacker Plus subscription which costs around $4 per month.

7. Google Play Music

Download: iOS / Android

Google Play Music is the ultimate player for anyone heavily invested in the Mountain View company's audio store. Able to stream tunes from your library as well as from a massive catalog of on-demand music, Google one-ups the competition by adding Chromecast support to its iOS and Android Google Play Music apps.

Google Play Music is free to download on both platforms, but streaming music on demand requires a subscription to Google Play Music All Access, a service that costs $10/£10/AU$12.

8. Plex

Download: iOS / Android

We've sung Plex's praises before: the media center app takes TV shows and movies stored on your PC and streams them conveniently to your phone. Plex's best trick, however, is that it can send this stream to your Chromecast, effectively giving you a set-top box with access to any movie or TV show you can possibly imagine.

9. Spotify

Download: iOS / Android

As well as its own Spotify Connect, the world's biggest streaming service also allows you to use Google's Chromecast to play music either through your stereo or TV.

If you opt for the latter then you'll see your currently playing track displayed on screen, but we imagine most people will opt to play Spotify through a Chromecast Audio to get their stereo streaming-connected.

With an increasing number of streaming speakers on the market now supporting Spotify Connect you might not need to plug in a Chromecast, but this is a great option for anyone looking to upgrade an old stereo.

Top 10 FREE Channels on the New Chromecast - You Should Have These Apps

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