Chromecast is one of the newest innovations by the technology titan Google. Helping to bridge the gap between your mobile and home devices and your television, Chromecast essentially helps turn your HD capable television into a smart TV by connecting itself to your home network and allowing you to cast and stream content from your mobile to your TV.
Chromecast boasts a growing number of applications and extensions that are compatible with the device. But to the new user of Chromecast, you may be curious as to what some of the applications may be when considering what is available to you. I am here to help you find some of the handiest apps and extensions for your Chromecast to make your media casting seamless and fun.
Keep in mind, this article is written based on the idea that you have a working knowledge of how to use your Chromecast already. Even if you don’t, a few basic tutorials can get you off the ground and running.
The most obvious apps that promote themselves with Chromecast are Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu Plus, and a number of other media streaming services. Often, after installing the Chromecast app on your device, a simple click of the button will send whatever you’re watching or listening to on your mobile to your TV. However, often we have media already present on our phone that we’d like to share on the television.
This is where an application called Plex comes in. Plex touts itself as a one-stop for all your personal media, no matter what device you are on or where you happen to be. By installing the application or program on your device and connecting it to your account, Plex allows you to access your movies, music, or photos on any device connected to your Plex account from any other device on it as well at any time. While Plex is not Free, coming in at $4.99, it is highly compatible with Chromecast and is arguably one of the easiest apps to use outside of the standard Google suite of applications.
Most buy Chromecast with the want to stream their personal videos to their home televisions. With the before mentioned Plex this is possible, but if you’re looking for a free alternative, though much more limited, Videostream for Chrome and Android is the way to go, though iOS users will be left out unless they use Chrome on their personal computer. By installing the extension in your Browser and app on your phone, much in the same way as Plex, you have access to any videos on your personal PC to cast to your television via Chromecast. Videostream is relatively new, though much is in development for it.
Chromecast hosts a myriad of games and fun tricks and apps, from Pictionary and Tic-Tac-Toe, to the ability to take pictures and instantly place them on your television. The Chromecast is just starting to grow and will prove that it’s $35 dollar price point is well worth the open source nature of the device.