Google is always looking to make Android easily accessible and versatile. This is exactly why we are in love with Android. The original Chromecast was a good move from the tech giant, but it failed to capture my personal attention. Now that there is a much sleeker and smaller Chromecast device around, it is about time that we listed some of the best Chromecast apps for Android, available on the Google Play Store.
I will not be listing some of the most popular Chromecast apps like Netflix or even Hulu here. That is because, they are extremely well known and almost household names. This list aims to introduce some lesser known, yet highly efficient and useful apps that can make your TV, a smart one.
For the purpose of the article, I grabbed a Chromecast from one of my students and played around with it at my home. I already have a small PC hooked up to my main TV for streaming purposes, and I feel a Chromecast cannot replace a good old fashioned PC, at least for me. A lot of people would love to have a less complicated and exponentially faster device hooked to their TV, and that is understandable. So, without further ado, let’s check out some of the best Chromecast apps for Android I found.
Note: The apps were tested on a Samsung Galaxy Note III and a Sony Xperia Z smartphone. The screenshots were taken from the Sony phone to test out a budget setup. The apps performed fine, and there were no problems faced during testing.
Tip: The apps use an active wireless connection to bridge the gap between your smartphone and the Chromecast. A stable and a fast wireless router will make the experience a lot better. The distance from the router also determines the connection stability and quality.
BubbleUPnP for DLNA/Chromecast
The name might be a mouthful, but the app is one of the best ones around for Chromecast. One of my oldest friends has been using this amazing app for almost two years now, and I have seen it work flawlessly countless times.
During my testing, the app didn’t give me anything to worry about after the initial setup. The interface is amazing; the app works great and most of all it just works. Accessing all local and cloud-stored media on my home network was a blast.
Streaming movies on my large TV was a seamless experience. BubbleUPnP, unlike its complicated name, is a simple and highly accessible free app that will put content at your fingertips.
I highly recommend this app to anyone who uses Chromecast, as it will make everything so much easier and fun. I would like to add that after using the app, I’m considering getting a Chromecast for my bedroom TV.Show Downloads
Chrome Browser – Google
I like having first party stuff on my Android. That is because Google usually takes great care of making it compatible with all the devices. Google Chrome might not be my favorite browser on Windows, but it is certainly one of the best ones on Android.
Chrome for Android even got featured on the best browsers for Android list on the site. However, Google Chrome is not on this list because it is a good browser. It is here because it gels so well with Chromecast.
I don’t recommend extended periods of browsing on the internet using this app, or any other for that matter. But for the cat videos and wedding pictures stored online, Chrome can do a pretty sweet job.Show Downloads
ES File Explorer File Manager
This app is one of the first ones I install on any of my new Android devices. The app topped the best file managers for Android list and there are a ton of reasons for that. However, while exploring ES File Explorer, I came across some robust streaming features. I’ll be honest with you here; the app is not the most user-friendly when it comes to connecting to your Chromecast and sending data to it. But it does connect and can help you out in a dire situation.
I would suggest you get this app as a backup. The fact that it is the best free file explorer out there makes it easier to have ES File Explorer always on your device.Show Downloads
Plex for Android
Plex is another great app that makes it easy to, not only stream all your media but also, keep it organized. Honestly, the free version of the app is one the most generous offerings I have seen. The app wants to make all your media organized and accessible to all.
Despite it being one amazing streaming app for Chromecast, there are some complications. You will need to have a Plex Media Server downloaded and installed to stream local media. This means you should have that app on your media PC and then connect to the Chromecast.
While this may not be such a big deal, it is still an additional step you have to take. The best thing is, you can use it to stream media to your smartphone or tablet as well. I have it on my media PC that is hooked to the TV lounge’s big screen TV. Now I can watch any movie I want from the comfort of my bedroom while my mom catches her soaps.Show Downloads
This app is purely for the gamers reading this list. By now you must have gathered that I’m a huge fan of gaming, whether it is on Android or consoles/PC. This is perhaps why Twitch is one of my favorite sites around. Essentially, the app allows you to watch other people play video games.
While this may sound a bit stupid to many readers, but us gamers love watching games when we are away from our gaming stations. The Twitch app comes with an excellent ability to throw the streams on your big screens and that too in mere seconds and a few taps.
I usually catch a COD or League of Legends match before going off to work. These days I’m watching Halo 5: Guardians, as I don’t own a Xbox One. However, the app helped me catch a round or two while getting ready.
The interface is simple, and the app is very easy to use. It is a must have for a gamer. I have yet to test out the new YouTube Gaming side of the biggest video streaming app, but I’m sure Twitch will be relevant for years to come.Show Downloads
I avoided including the obvious choices for the app list because, let’s be honest here; you already know about them. Hulu, Netflix and Chromecast main app are the must haves of the lot, and chances are, you already have them on your devices. These apps attempt to bring in something new and unique to the mix and aim to provide you with a service that no other app gives.
Do you have another app that should have made the list? Feel free to cast your suggestions in the comments below. I would love to test out the new apps myself.