Chromecast has arrived in the UK, allowing people to easily send things from their smartphone or tablet to a TV. Be it a YouTube video, photo or TV show, Google’s gadget makes it very easy to link your handset directly to your big screen television.
However, Chromecast only works as well as the apps that go with it, and Google has opened up its software so that more and more developers can come on board. The list is growing and growing, and here are some of the best.
One of the most talked about apps when it comes to Chromecast compatibility, Netflix’s straightforward interface suits the gadget very well. You do have to have a subscription to the video-streaming service, but once you do you’ll have full access to shows like Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy, and can send them to your television with just a few simple taps.
Again, the iPlayer has been one of the big scores for Google when it comes to the UK launch of the Chromecast. The app works seamlessly for TV shows, so you can catch up on last night’s Eastenders without any hassle at all. There’s no support for the BBC’s radio stations yet, but we hope this arrives soon as it would be a very good feature indeed.
Cast on TV
A pretty basic app, but one that does its job well in sending photos and videos from your phone to your television. After accessing your photo library, the app allows you to select images and then shows them in a rotating gallery on screen. Videos also play without any hitches, with audio being of a good quality too.
As a Google service, YouTube is kind of one of the things that the Chromecast has been made for, and it works as an excellent accompaniment to the gadget. Videos can be searched for then sent over, and the Chromecast will read a playlist and automatically skip to the next video in it after one has finished. This is probably the simplest and best way of viewing online video on a television that we’ve ever seen.
Similar to Cast on TV, PixiPush has a more attractive interface, which echoes those of Google apps such as YouTube and Gmail. Sending photos over to your Chromecast is very easy indeed, although the app has no support for video at the moment. Nevertheless, as a quick way of viewing your images on TV, this is brilliant.
Google Play Music
Chromecast isn’t just for visual things, and you can play your music collection through your TV with Google’s music service. Uploading tracks is a bit fiddly and not as user-friendly as we’d like it to be, but once they’ve been added to your library they can be streamed using Chromecast as easily as anything else. The free one month trial of Google’s Spotify-like All Access music service is a big bonus too, and well worth signing up for even if you don’t end up taking a proper subscription.
Have you decided not to invest in a Chromecast just yet? There’s no need to miss out if you have, since there are plenty of other ways of controlling your TV with your smartphone.