Looking for the best Chromecast apps to download and make the most of Google's £30 media streaming stick? We pick out the essentials to grab first in 2016.
The Chromecast has been out for almost two years now and has received lots of positive feedback. During that time we have seen the selection of Chromecast apps expand from a mere handful at the time of launch, mostly fruit from Google's own tree, to over 800 hundred across multiple platforms such as iOS, Android and the Chrome browser. While some of these apps are pretty obscure and simply allow you to mimic the app on the TV screen, a good deal of them are produced by well known names like the BBC, Netflix, Amazon, and SKY.
For the most part, the best apps tend to be those offering a streaming video service as, lets face it, nothing works best on your TV than content intended for TV. The BBC's iPlayer app, YouTube, Plex, BT Sport, Now TV and Netflix should be top of your list of apps to download - the chances are that you already have most of these on your mobile device anyway - and the casting ability comes baked into the interface already. Once your TV is armed with a Chromecast, you'll be ready to push (otherwise known as "Cast") the content or service from an app up onto the big screen. There are services that stream photos and audio as well, and some of these are executed very well, so be sure not to overlook them. Support for games is also available but decent ones are a bit thin on the ground, with most being the type you'd play just to kill some time. Those of you hoping to try out the latest CallofDuty via the Chromecast while using your mobile as a controller are out of luck for the time being.
It's also worth noting that Google hasn't yet released the Chromecast API for Windows Phone, so there are very few Windows Phone apps that can cast to the HDMI dongle.
If you already own a Chromecast or are weighing up whether to go Chromecast or Roku Streaming Stick, we've picked the best apps you need to check out for one of the killer gadgets of last year.