‘Cast’ like a boss with our list of the best Chromecast apps

google chromecast ultra 2016
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Google’s Chromecast video streamers, including the entry-level Chromecast and the higher-end Chromecast Ultra, are a slick way to wirelessly beam media from your favorite apps and services to that gorgeous flatscreen TV. Yet, while Google has a page listing Chromecast-enabled apps, it’s not exactly comprehensive, and there’s no way to search solely for Chromecast-ready Android or iOS apps.

As such, we’ve compiled a list of our absolute favorite supported apps that take the Chromecast from OK to awesome. Some you’re well familiar with, and some you’ve likely never heard of. If you have the nagging suspicion you’re not taking full advantage of your Chromecast, you’re probably right. Check out our list below, and learn how to “cast” like a boss.

Video streaming

If you’re like most people, the vast majority of your time using your Chromecast will be spent streaming video from the services below. You’ll likely have heard of most of them, but that doesn’t mean you’ve tried them all. Note: If you’re pretty well versed in basic streaming, feel free to scroll further down for deeper ways to enjoy your Chromecast.


Available on: Android and iOS

best chromecast apps netflix android

Yes, it’s predictable and you probably saw it coming, but this list wouldn’t be complete without Netflix. It may not be the one-stop shop that it used to be, but Netflix is more than making up for its shrinking library of third-party titles with a staggering amount of original content. From the creepy nostalgia of Stranger Things to the cheerful comedy of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to the crime drama of Narcos, there’s probably at least one show that makes this a must-have for your Chromecast.

Amazon Video

Available on: (see below)

Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV 4K

Like Netflix, Amazon has become such a video powerhouse that it wouldn’t be fair to leave it off of this list. There is a problem, however: Thanks to Amazon and Google’s cold war, there is no dedicated Amazon Video app that supports Chromecast. There is a workaround, though, and we have a handy guide to tell you exactly how. The cliff’s notes are, you’ll need a computer and the Chrome browser, which allow you to stream from an open tab while watching Amazon content online.


Available on: Android and iOS

best chromecast apps hbo go android

If you subscribe to HBO via your cable or satellite provider, this needs to be on your list of apps to grab. Alongside original series like the megahit Game of Thrones, HBO Go gives you access to a sizeable library of films, from recent releases to classics.


Available on: Android and iOS

best chromecast apps hbo now android

If you’re looking for HBO programming, but you don’t subscribe to the network via cable or satellite, this gives you access to everything the service has to offer for a $15 per month subscription fee. Basically, if you’re looking to watch Silicon Valley, Veep, Game of Thrones, and the rest, but don’t want to pay up for cable in order to do so, this is your best bet.

YouTube TV

Available on: Android and iOS

YouTube TV

A number of live TV streaming services, including Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue are available for Chromecast, but with YouTube being a Google service, it’s a great pick if you’re already invested in that ecosystem. It might not have the most channels, but YouTube TV is a great option for cord-cutters who miss live TV from time to time. If you’re looking for another option, check out our comparison of live TV streaming services.


Available on: Android and iOS

best chromecast apps twitch

Though it started as a way for its users to watch fellow gamers at play, Twitch is increasingly becoming a streaming service for everyone thanks to the introduction of IRL (In Real Life) streams. Whether you’re watching a tense Overwatch match or someone cooking in their kitchen, this app brings a little extra variety to your casting.


Available on: Android and iOS

Vudu Chromecast screenshot

When it comes to buying/renting new and classic movie titles, it’s hard to beat Vudu. Apart from that, the service’s talents include the ability to access your stockpile of UltraViolet movies, and even share the collection with up to five friends. If you don’t yet have Vudu for your Chromecast, it’s time to get onboard.

Google Play Video

Available on: Android and iOS

Google Play Video chomescast screenshot

Another great way to buy video and play it on the tube, Google Play Video has a ton of options, as well as deals for movies, like Inception for $3. Things can get pricey quickly using the service, which is why we prefer subscription packages, but if you need to find a movie or show to play on your TV right now, this is a great way to do it.


Available on: Android and iOS

Crackle Chromecast screenshot

Crackle has a nice selection of older movie and TV content, including some stuff that’s hard to find elsewhere, like featured Seinfeld episodes. Speaking of Seinfeld, the superstar’s new show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, is part of Crackle’s growing lineup of original content, along with Chosen, Tightrope, and Sports Jeopardy.


Available on: Android and iOS

MLB Chromecast app

If you’re a huge baseball fan, MLB.TV is your best friend on the Chromecast. At $130 per year, the premium plan is a pretty pricey affair, but that buys you front-row tickets to every out-of-market regular season game on your TV or device, all season long.


Available on: Android and iOS


A great app for sports fans, WatchESPN offers easy access to the go-to network for all things sports. You’ll need a subscription, but that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be shackled to the full weight of a cable or satellite ball and chain. Depending upon your internet provider, you may be able to add a bare-bones, basic cable subscription to your service for a minimal fee. With that in place, the Chromecast will be able to stream ESPN on your television directly from the network’s video servers – no cable or satellite box necessary. If you love SportsCenter and Monday Night Football, that could be worth the dough right there.

Accessing files from your PC and the cloud

While some of the apps here (like Plex immediately below) could fit into the video-streaming section above, this is more about accessing all of your media on your TV. Whether it’s DRM-free movies, home movies, or your photos, these apps help you make the most of all of your media on the big screen.


Available on: Android and iOS

Plex Chromecast screenshot

Got a ton of files stored on a computer or hard drive, but tired of plugging in your laptop to the TV like a caveman? Then Plex is your best solution. The app/server is an excellent way to organize all of your stored video and music files for easy access on Chromecast, as well as other devices that use DLNA like Smart TVs, Blu-ray players, and more. To use the service, just download the app from the Plex site (you’ll need to pay the $5 upgrade for full access), and then start building your library. Recent updates have even added live news, a DVR feature that can remove commercials, and the ability to use cloud storage instead of a home server.


Available on: Android

Videostream Chromecast screenshot

If all that organization, building, and categorizing sounds like more than you want to sign up for, or if you just have a few random video files that you don’t really want to add to a library, Videostream is your super-simple solution. Simply download the app from Google Play and launch it on your PC’s Chrome browser or your Android device. The app will ask what you want to play, and all you need to do is locate the file, choose your Chromecast, and, voila, it’s up on the tube.

Mirroring/photo sharing


Available on: Android

Allcast chromecast screenshot

When it comes to sending your videos, photos, and music to the TV from your Android device, Allcast is king. The app debuted with Chromecast before being subsequently shut down by Google. Now, it’s back in all its glory, turning your flatscreen into a gallery for all media on your device. The free app puts a 5-minute time limit on pictures and videos, but you’ll have to download it before upgrading to the $5 premium version. If you have an Android device, this is a must-have.

Google Home

Available on: Android and iOS

google chromecast ultra review home app 2

OK, you already have this if you own a Chromecast, but Google Home lets you do much more than setup and control your Chromecast, it also controls all your Google Home devices. It’s also the best option if you want to mirror your mobile device on your TV — as long as you’re running the Android version.

Google Photos

Available on: Android and iOS

best iPad apps

The Google Photos app is one of the best options for backing up your photo catalog, but it also has Chromecast functionality, letting you browse through and display your photos on your TV screen. While other options are available, this is as close to an “official” option as there is, and it’s a great choice, even if you don’t use the backup functionality.


If you have a nice home theater system, you may want to share your favorite online radio app through Chromecast, allowing you to create a wireless jukebox controlled from your device. Or maybe you’ve ditched your CD collection to go all-in on streaming. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find some great options below.


Available on: Android and iOS

best chromecast apps spotify android

The go-to choice for millions of music lovers, Spotify has a massive catalog of songs to stream spanning every genre. It may not stand up to competitors when it comes to radio functionality, but the music discovery features and sharp interface make it a natural choice when it comes to listening to music in your home theater.


Available on: Android and iOS

best radio apps pandora

Spotify might have the advantage when it comes to on-demand, but Pandora remains the top dog when it comes to internet radio. With the addition of its new $10 per month Premium subscription, it edges closer to the competition when it comes to listening on demand, but even if you only listen to the ad-supported free version, it’s a great way to find and listen to new music.

That’s our list of the best Chromecast has to offer so far. There’s a good chance we’ve left out one or two of your favorites, so don’t be shy about letting us know in the comments which apps we missed. We’ll be updating our list as time goes on, and making some more specialized guides in the future as the arsenal expands, so stay tuned.

Product Review

Hisense’s new H8E 4K TV serves up a pretty picture at a very nice price

Budget TVs continue to get more attractive and that includes the latest from Chinese TV maker Hisense. The company’s new H8E, which offers 4K resolution, HDR, and a slick design for well under $500.

The best MacBook deals for November 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to use it.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.

Here are the best 4K TV deals for November 2018

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Detective Pikachu,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for cyberpunk adventure Alita: Battle Angel, game adaptation Pokémon Detective Pikachu…