The Google Chromecast lets you display video, photos, pictures and other media content from supported apps on your big-screen TV, using your Android or iOS device as a remote control. You can also send content straight from a Chrome Web browser on your computer. There are hundreds of apps that take advantage of this unique technology, which Google calls "casting," to offer a new way to link your mobile device and your TV. Check out the following apps that let you cast content to your TV.
The Internet media subscription juggernaut Netflix (Android, iOS) needs little introduction. The service — which lets subscribers watch thousands of TV shows and movies from their desktop or mobile device — has also had some success with original programming such as House of Cards. Netflix now includes Chromecast support, so subscribers can cast the latest episodes and movies straight to the big screen rather than watching on a cramped smartphone or desktop screen, while still using their mobile device for playback controls.
If you want to keep up with current TV favorites, Hulu Plus (Android, iOS) is the service for you. This subscription-based service gets new episodes of popular shows from ABC, Fox, NBC, Comedy Central, the BBC and more, often just a day after the episodes air. Whether you want to stay current on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., South Park or Family Guy on any device you choose, Hulu Plus provides a simple and affordable way to do it. You can also watch movies and original shows, like Deadbeat and A Day in the Life, and Chromecast lets you do it seamlessly through your mobile device, PC or TV.
HBO Go lets users stream their favorite HBO content straight to their Android or iOS device. Enjoy the latest and greatest movies, and access the best HBO original programming, such as Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley and True Detective, as well as bonus features and extras. While it's free to download the app, you do need to have a participating cable subscription to access content. Another option is the new HBO Now (Android, iOS), which dispenses with the cable element entirely in favor of direct streaming service.
Spotify has become synonymous with online streaming music, thanks to its ease of use, freemium features, and a massive song library of more than 30 million tracks. The Spotify app (Android, iOS) allows for more free music streaming than ever, and a $9.99 monthly subscription lets you save an unlimited number of songs for offline listening. Chromecast support lets you cast your music to your TV or sound system, sparing your dinky little phone speakers and letting you enjoy your music on more worthy gear. Factor in Spotify's Party DJ mode, pace-matching Running feature and personalized Discovery Weekly playlists, and you'll likely be hitting Play on this app for a long time to come.
Pocket Casts (Android, iOS) is an excellent podcast app that neatly combines style and function with a clean design that showcases subscribed podcasts in tile format. Tap on a tile to bring up an episode list, summaries and download options. A smart playlisting feature helps you sort and categorize your downloaded content for easy listening. Pocket Casts also includes video podcast support, auto-downloading and automatic cleanup of downloaded episodes to save storage space. Other helpful playback features include quick skip forward and back buttons with configurable time intervals, a sleep timer and Android widgets. It's a feature-packed podcatcher that only gets better with Chromecast support for streaming your podcasts to the big screen or your sound system.
ClockWorkMod's Allcast (Android, iOS) is an extremely versatile media player and gallery app that can stream your photos, videos and music to your Chromecast, as well as other streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, or a variety of smart TVs. Not only does it handle local content, but AllCast supports streaming photos and videos from cloud storage such as Dropbox and Google Plus. The free demo lets you try out AllCast with a 5 minute cap on viewing a video or image, with a premium unlock for full functionality costing $4.99.
The official YouTube app (Android, iOS) puts the power of the world's most dynamic video-sharing network at your fingertips, with mobile streaming, video search, playlists, channels and video recommendations. Considering YouTube is a Google service, it's a given that it would be among the flagship apps taking advantage of Chromecast in order to beam your videos straight to your wide-screen TV. YouTube's been busy expanding its reach, with a new dedicated YouTube Music app (Android, iOS) and YouTube Gaming (Android, iOS) adding more specialized options.