We all know Google's Chomecast supports a handful of great apps, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Vevo, Plex, Rdio and BT Sport, and that you can enjoy movies and music bought through Google or stored on your device or network via the streaming dongle. But what about the apps you don't know about? More than 250 apps support Chromecast streaming; here's our pick of some great free Chromecast apps for Android on which you're most likely missing out. See all best Android apps.
Since we originally wrote this article a couple of new Chromecast apps have come to light that we think you should know about. Below, then, are the best free apps for Chromecast you don't know about.
Best free apps for Chromecast 2015 UK: Spoticast
The latest free Chromecast app to catch our eye is Spoticast, which lets you cast Spotify tunes directly to your Chromecast from your Android phone or tablet - and it doesn't require a premium Spotify account.
Best free apps for Chromecast 2015 UK: Wuaki.TV
Wuaki.TV's entire catalogue of movies and TV series is now available for streaming through Chromecast. Plus, to celebrate the launch Wuaki.tv is offering users £20 off Chromecast when they purchase any TV series from the HBO catalogue, with boxsets including Game of Thrones, True Detective and The Sopranos.
The Wuaki.tv catalogue includes content from major Hollywood studios, plus UK distributors such as the BBC and ITV. Movies and TV series are available for both rental and purchase from £2.49. Read our full Wuaki.TV review.
Best free apps for Chromecast 2015 UK: CloudCaster
CloudCaster is a free app for Google Chromecast that lets you cast media files stored in cloud-storage services (See also: Best cloud storage services). That means you can stream music stored in your Dropbox account, photos from Google Drive, documents from Box and so on. The only catch: the free version of CloudCaster lets you cast from only one of the cloud storage services to which you are registered. CloudCaster supports files stored on your device, DLNA, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Bitcasa, Box and WebDAV, plus you can stream files via your device using SMB/CIFS, copy.com and SugarSync.
Best free apps for Chromecast 2015 UK: CastOnTV Instagram
Until Instagram makes its own way to Chromecast, CastOnTV Instagram lets you enjoy Instagram on your big-screen TV. With this app, "an amazing Instagram slideshow with background music comes alive on your TV screen". CastOnTV Instagram lets you share with over viewers your own Instagram photos or those of any other Instagram users you are following, and it supports background music and dynamic transition effects. A £1.08 version removes the Demo sign.
Best free apps for Chromecast 2015 UK: Cast Store for Chromecast
Tap the Discover Apps tab in Google's own Chromecast app and you'd be forgiven for thinking only 11 apps are supported. That's way off. One way to find great new apps for Chromecast is to simply run a 'Chromecast' search within Google Play or the App Store; another is to download an app dedicated to the very task at which Google is failing miserably - drawing attention to great new Chromecast apps. See Apple TV vs Chromecast review.
Cast Store for Chromecast is a free aggregator of Chromecast Android apps. It lets you quickly filter those available by News, Apps and Games, highlights an app of the week, lets you check those highest rated by other users, and it lists all new releases since your last visit. It is by far the easiest way to find new Chromecast apps worth installing on your Android smartphone or tablet. See How to set up and use Chromecast.
Just click to install an app and Cast Store will take you straight to the Google Play store, alleviating any worries you might have had over downloading content from unknown sources. See What can you watch on Chromecast: why Chromecast is a game changer.
Best free apps for Chromecast 2015 UK: Doodlecast for Chromecast
Doodlecast in essence turns the TV in your living room into a digital platform on which you can play Pictionary, with no need to find a scrap of paper or a working pen (who uses those anymore anyway?). It's a bit like that one-time app phenomenon Draw Something, allowing you to compete with other Android users as you each take it in turn to either draw something or guess what is that something, but it puts your artwork on the big screen for all the family to admire/ridicule/guess what is that peculiar object that really isn't as rude as it looks. See Google Chromecast review.
Doodlecast requires two or more Android devices, with one as the drawing pad and the other used to best-guess the answer. With a smartphone and a tablet to hand we managed to have a great game even without multiple players - and we won every time.
If you just want to draw pretty pictures on your TV, try Castpad for Chromecast. Alternatively, if you're loving the whole big-screen family entertainment concept, also have a look at Trivia Cast.
Best free apps for Chromecast 2015 UK: CameraCast for Chromecast
We like Google's Photowall for Android and iOS, which lets anyone connected to your home Wi-Fi network send to your TV screen photos taken on their phone, tablet or PC. The resulting interactive wall of photos can even be saved to a video file. But CameraCast for Chromecast offers a slightly different take on the slideshow concept for those with Android devices.
It, too, lets you instantly beam the photos taken by your device's camera to your TV screen, and it supports the feeds of multiple devices. But in unlocking the app CameraCast becomes far more useful, allowing you to trigger an auto-shutter that captures and sends to your TV pictures taken at set intervals (this will drain the battery, though, so you'll want to keep your device plugged in). We don't know of many home CCTV systems that cost just £1.21 (okay, plus the cost of your tablet/smartphone, TV and Chromecast dongle, but you already have those).
Best free apps for Chromecast 2015 UK: Up Down Fish
If you like Flappy Bird, you'll love Up Down Fish, which is also available for iOS. This clone follows a similar concept, with you tapping a large onscreen Swim button on your phone or tablet to manoeuvre a fish through tiny gaps in large pillars. Except those tiny gaps appear much larger on your TV screen - even if half the screen is consumed by the game's leaderboard.
Performance isn't exactly what consoles might have led you to expect from gaming on the big screen, but the jagged graphics and jerky frames take little away from Up Down Fish's appeal. Truth be told, the most difficult task was trying to capture the above photo on a 10in tablet while playing Up Down Fish on a smartphone. (You can probably tell.)
If you enjoy playing games on your TV via Chromecast, be sure to also check out GamingCast (85p gets you Snake, Pong and other classics), TicTacToe (aka Naughts and Crosses, free) and Hangman (also free). All the Chromecast games we've seen so far support multiplayer modes, which makes them ideal for playing in the living room.
Best free apps for Chromecast 2015 UK: EduKids for Chromecast
EduKids for Chromecast is the app to which you should turn when your child has not only run off with your Android tablet, but begun eyeing up that tiny black gadget sticking out the TV's HDMI port. It's still in beta, but you can be pretty sure your child will understand the implications of this - is there anything they don't know?
Just to make sure, EduKids is here to educate them on several of life's most important lessons, one of which is the noises animals make when they're pissed at you and about to rip off your head. (Just joking.) The TV plays a sound, and the child must then tap the relevant animal image from the selection shown onscreen. And that's not always as easy as it sounds, especially when you're shown, for example, four pictures of birds and must decide which one goes 'squawk'. If only EduKids would also tell you what that animal is called we might be on to something here. Let's hope the kids don't come asking the nearest adult for the answer.
Other lessons include pointing out which image in a pair represents a given term, such as 'square' or 'white' or 'curved' or 'straight'. Sometimes EduKids tries to catch you out by showing you the same pair of images but changing the term. And it works.
Best free apps for Chromecast 2015 UK: What other apps can I download for Chromecast?
Other free Chromecast apps you might like to try include Chrome Beta (or full Google Chrome on a desktop), which mirrors your browser window on the TV, plus BubbleUPnP, which lets you stream to and access multimedia on various other devices, including DLNA TVs, consoles, hifi systems and, of course, Chromecast.
Plenty of other great free Chromecast apps are available, with more appearing every day. Got a favourite Chromecast app? Let us know in the comments below.
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