Ten new apps arrive for Chromecast - and more are coming

Ten new apps arrive for Chromecast - and more are coming

Summary: The Chromecast is getting more useful by the day with new media apps appearing. But the biggest improvement, screen casting from the latest Android devices, is still waiting to go on stage.

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I'd been assuring people that the Chromecast would become even more useful soon and I was right. Google just announced that it's added 10 new apps, actually more like directly supported media services to Chromecast.

Android 4.4.2
The biggest upcoming Chromecast improvement, the ability to cast Android tablet and smartphone screens, is still a work in progress.

These are: VEVO, a self-proclaimed MTV for the Internet age; Red Bull.TV sports; Songza, an Internet music station; PostTV, the Washington Post's Internet TV channel; Viki, international TV shows and movies, primarily from Korea; Revision 3, techie TV shows; and BeyondPod, a popular podcast manager.

On top of that you can now use three media-server programs, Plex, Avia, and RealPlayer Cloud apps to watch your own local and cloud-based video recordings. 

Plex is the most well-known of these media servers. Plex, a fork of the open-source XMBC can run on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. With it you can stream video in a variety of formats from local drives, network drives, and some cloud services. 

You can, of course, continue to play many video files simply by opening their files from your Chrome Web browser.

Google didn't mention it this time, but it's also become clear that screen casting will be coming to Android soon. In the recent Android 4.4.1 update, there were hints in the code that the ability to "cast" an Android display to a Chromecast-equipped TV was on its way. This was further confirmed in the latest Android 4.4.2 where "Cast screen" is an option under the Display settings. Unfortunately, in my tests, this still isn't working. My 2013 Nexus 7 with Android 4.4.2 was unable to detect my Chromecast.

Still, it's only a matter of time before the newest Android tablets and smartphones will be able to share their displays to Chrome cast-equipped HDTVs.

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Topics: Networking, Android, Google, Web development

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15 comments
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  • plex

    Be careful with plex. I bought the $5 app that doesnt require a plexpass ($30/year) but the chromecast feature is for plexpass only. They give new features to plexpass subscribers first, so buying the app right now is kinda useless if you want it for the chromecast feature. From what i've read it should be a few months before plex for chromecast works with the $5 app.
    Jean-Pierre-
    • Not interested in walled gardens, thats why I bought plair 2

      I am not interested in these big companies building walled gardens that are so limited in what they can do. I hate the fact I have to give Plex more money now. Thanks but I am keeping my plair 2. It has local content from both mobile and laptop, a built in browser and Netflix and Spotify that I control from my phone.
      Thats all I care about...
      Nick Marshall
  • Chromecast shortcomings

    So they haven't fixed these shortcomings?
    lack of 'casting of extended desktop
    lack of multiple screen duplication
    lack of casting PC to PC, rather than PC to TV
    lack of casting except via Chrome browser on Mac, PC, or Linux
    torrmundi
    • and it doesn't solve world peace.

      look, its $35 dollars, it is what it is. It plays my netflix and youtube and play music and that's what I wanted. Anything beyond that is cake. Nothing you list was ever claimed as a supported feature. I am unaware of a multiple screen duplication issue with its advertised usages.
      drwong
    • I don't see your problem

      My Chromecast washes the dishes, walks the dogs, vacuums the floors, makes me breakfast and today it removed a bad virus from my next door neighbor's Win8.1 laptop while we watched a movie.
      WhoRUKiddin
      • WOW!

        Where can I get one of those?!
        DT2
    • No it doesn't

      It's not intended or designed to do any of those things. It is made so one can do some of the stuff that a smart TV does by plugging a dongle into the HDMI port of a dumb TV. And, as far as casting to your PC - does your PC have a HDMI input? I don't know of any that do.
      DT2
      • Chromebook HDMI

        My $150 chromebook has HDMI and I can watch anything I want (including MP4 HD files) in glorious 1080 HD!
        jimbritttn
  • crapcast isn't worth

    the plastic it ships in. I wouldn't want the data leach known as Google leaching off my TV viewing habits so they can make a few more dollars off me.
    Rob.sharp
    • yeah!

      Rob, you go right back to those other corporations products where you wont be watched or see any ads and show google a thing or two.
      Maybe not microsoft though - xbox dashbord shows me ads and I get to pay $50 a year. And I hear kinnect is watching me. Well maybe you can point me to something less leachy than chromecast or microsoft? Apple? Facebook. I'm not sure anymore.
      drwong
      • Oh, boy!

        Wait till Rob.sharp sees what big grocery stores are working on for in-store shopper habit tracking.
        WhoRUKiddin
    • So - What do you recommend?

      Must not be LG. Their smart TVs even upload the file names to LG when you plug in a thumb drive or SD card to watch offloaded video or audio content.
      DT2
    • Too Bad

      You are really paranoid, arent' you!
      jimbritttn
  • Chromecast and a PC beats many other solutions.

    Chrome on my desktop and Chromecast has given me more options than my Roku box or any other services. Chromecasting from my phone is of no interest to me. Nexus 10 is a possibility but PC is still easier. Hulu work fine. Netflix works fine. PlayOn works as do a number of non-authorized broadcast TV channels.
    mryanaz
  • Chromecast isn't worth anything unless you subscribe to netflix and hulu+

    I was surprised Chromecast has no apps included. It only works with apps you pay to add to your device. Casting video from chrome on linux doesn't work. Amazon prime video doesn't work. You can't cast from android yet. I can't show pics on my share drive, nor on my phone. Waist of $35.
    makerofbeating