20 of the best Chromecast apps available on Google Play
Google’s Chromecast streaming devices are nothing new, but they’re still among the hottest-selling smart home devices on the market. And for good reason – they’re affordable, simple to set up, and compatible with a ton of different apps and services.
In fact, I have a Chromecast installed on each TV in my home, with the exception of my 55-inch Sony Android TV, and I’ll soon have one for it – but that’s a different story altogether.
With Black Friday in the books, today being Cyber Monday, and Christmas right around the corner, there’s a good possibility you either A: already own a Chromecast, or B: just bought one and you’re waiting on it to arrive. Whatever the case may be, here are the 20 best Chromecasts you need to download, in no particular order.
20. Google Home
This one kinda goes without saying. You need it just to set up your Chromecast devices. It features built-in universal search, content discovery and app recommendations. Google Home is essentially the cornerstone of your shiny new streaming device, so make sure you download it.
Netflix is another no-brainer. I’m sure you’re familiar, so I won’t insult your intelligence. Unless you’re not in the market for stellar, affordable movie and television content, you likely already have an account. Did you know it works really well with Chromecast?
Well, it does.
Hulu, another popular video streaming service, isn’t really my cup of tea, but my kiddos love a bunch of the TV shows in the catalog. There are plans with and without commercials, and there’s also live TV streaming – which I’ve never tried before – for a slightly more expensive monthly subscription fee.
LocalCast is an amazing casting solution that works not only with Chromecast, but with a ton of other devices as well, like Roku, Nexus Player, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or Stick, Sony Bravia, Samsung, LG, Panasonic and other SmartTVs, Sonos, Xbox 360, Xbox One or other DLNA devices. It also boasts over 5 million users, making it one of the most-downloaded apps for Google’s smart puck.
Doodlecast is a slick little local multiplayer game where one player picks a secret word to draw on their phone or tablet while the other players in the room try to guess it. The drawing and guesses are simultaneously displayed on the TV. You need a Chromecast and at least 2 players with Android devices in the same room to play.
15. Tubi TV – Free Movies & TV
Maybe you don’t want to pay for a streaming service. Maybe you do, but you want more options. Whatever the case may be, Tubi TV is a really cool app that, as its name implies, offers free movies and TV.
There are commercials (because nothing in life is really free), and the catalog isn’t as extensive as the two aforementioned services, but there’s still a few good titles worth watching. New movies and TV shows are added each Friday to keep things fresh, too.
14. Pluto TV – It’s Free TV
Like Tubi TV, Pluto TV is another free source for TV and on-demand movies. It features over 100 channels and thousands of movies in its catalog, and it won’t cost you a dime to watch any of them. There’s also an entire section of titles “Not on Netflix or Hulu”, so this is just one more way of broadening your couch potato horizons.
13. Google Photos
TV and movies aren’t the only type of media your Chromecast is good for displaying. And Google Photos isn’t just for storing and editing your photos. Put the two together, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for reliving your treasured memories via a slideshow on the big screen!
12. Google Play Music
I’ve been a Google Play Music subscriber since the service’s inception, back in November of 2011. (Holy shit – has it really been 6 years already?! I guess it has…) I only pay $7.99 a month for my play because I’m grandfathered in at the early-adopter rate, but even at $9.99 for a single user account and $14.99 for a family account, it’s money well-spent.
And being a Google Play Music subscriber also makes you a YouTube Red subscriber, so you don’t have to see ads on any of the videos you watch there.
Spotify is another service for streaming music. I only used this one when it first launched, but my fiancee is still a subscriber to this day. I’ve been trying to convince her to make that switch to Google Play Music so we can switch to a family plan and save a few bucks, but she’s set in her ways. And a happy (almost) wife is a happy life, so Spotify makes the cut.
9. SCRABBLE Blitz for Chromecast
SCRABBLE is a classic board game where players take turns making words to score points. SCRABBLE Blitz is a whole new way to play the game, and it works with Chromecast! You can play alone or go head-to-head with up to four additional (local) players. This one is definitely fun for parties and entertaining guests.
8. BubbleUPnP for DLNA/Chromecast
BubbleUPnP is another awesome app that works with Chromecast and other streaming devices and can cast content from a number of different services, like Google Drive, Google Photos, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive. It can also cast media stored locally on your device.
We featured CastNES here on the site a few months back, and it’s still one of my favorite apps for Chromecast. It’s an NES emulator that lets you use your phone as the controller. Need I say more?
Of course, Google’s streaming service is going to work well with Google’s streaming devices. This is the perfect way to get your Casey Neistat, Peter McKinnon, or (insert your favorite YouTuber) fix.
5. Google Play Movies & TV
Oh yeah – Google has a second streaming service, as well. Here, you can buy and rent movies and TV shows and save them to your digital library. From there, you can easily view them on your Chromecast devices.
4. Sling TV
Sling TV is another subscription-based service offering live television from a number of popular networks. It offers cloud DVR storage and A La Carte TV packages with over 100 channels to choose from. The subscription fees are pretty reasonable, too, with the lowest tier starting at only $20.
3. Dashboard Cast
Dashboard Cast is a personalized homescreen for Chromecast that lets you create and organize widgets to your liking and display them on your TV. It’s similar to Google Now in some ways, but in a much larger form.
2. Memory Cast
Remember the game “Memory”? Memory Cast is exactly the same classic game, just in Chromecast-friendly form. This is a great E-rated game to waste some time with, either by yourself or with company. I especially recommend you check this one out if you have younger children.
I know I said this list was in no particular order, but I did save the best for last. Plex is hands-down my go-to out of all the Chromecast apps I use. It comes with a media server you install on your PC, and there are a web interface and an Android app for browsing and viewing the media files you have stored on your server.
Do you use any Chromecast apps you thought should be on this list? Be sure to let me know in the comment thread. There’s always room for more, thanks to our Featured Apps category!