Just got your shiny new Chromecast? You can’t go wrong with a $35 device that does so much to keep you entertained. Google’s HDMI dongle was so affordable and resourceful that it became amazingly popular from day one. This, in turn, brought substantial developer support. There are some apps you just MUST have, though.
For this post, we won’t count the Google apps, including YouTube. Now, this doesn’t mean YouTube shouldn’t be on your priority list, the app just happens to be pre-installed in most devices. Most of you have these apps, anyways – especially Android users. With that said, let’s take a look at our favorites.
Aside from being an amazing tool for your Chromecast experience, AllCast is an amazing app to have, overall. This app supports a plethora of platforms, including computers, mobile devices, consoles, BluRay players and more.
Chances are you will find more use to this app, but it is also great for casting content from your mobile device to your TV. What makes it unique is that it was among the first to be able to cast local files, as opposed to just streamed content.
The app is free to download, but it’s a trial version. Users are limited to certain video lengths, unless they pay $4.99 to upgrade to the premium version.
Media junkies probably already know of Plex, a service that creates a media server in your home. This allows users to access contents from any device, even if they are all stored in a single computer. Of course, you can also send videos to Chromecast from a plethora of devices.
The service now includes cloud services and more, but that will cost some extra cash. In addition, the app is priced at $4.99, which is not much if you consider the capabilities it unlocks.
Now, those who do like streaming will be hard-pressed to find a better video streaming app than Netflix. The subscription service stands as one of the most popular of its kind. They hold a large collection of movies and TV shows, with monthly fees starting at $7.99 per month.
The app is free and you can use it as long as you are a subscriber.
Google Play Music
While I said I wouldn’t focus on Google Apps, this one is usually not pre-installed and not a lot of people use it. The Google Play Music app allows you to save music to the cloud and access it from many devices. In turn, you can also cast your audio to any Chromecast device.
Also available is Google’s All Access subscription service. The app offers a complete music and audio experience. And comign from Google, chances are it will always be updated quickly to support upcoming Google devices, services and features.
This one seems like a dumb one to add to the list, but I am adding it for a very special reason. Aside from allowing you to set up your HDMI dongle and control its settings, Google has added a very neat feature to this otherwise mundane app.
This application now allows users to mirror their Android device screens to a Chromecast-equipped TV. The only limitation is that the device must have Android 4.4.2 or above, which does limit usage to a few devices at this point.
Those are our favorite 5 apps, and they should get you started in the Chromecast frenzy. There are some applications out there you may also find interesting, though. Among them is HBO Go, Crackle, Pandora, DailyMotion, Redbull TV, Revision3 and more.