The Google Chromecast is a cheap and extremely cheerful streaming device, which can be used to enjoy any number of on-demand video services on your TV. However, Google’s mini device is also much more than that thanks to the great selection of apps that you can download. Here’s our pick of the best Chromecast apps you can enjoy in 2017.
Once you’ve downloaded the mandatory Chromecast apps (here’s the iTunes and Google Play links), check out this selection of our favourite apps to get the most from your nifty telly dongle. As we’re a UK-based publication, the Chromecast apps listed here are UK-centric. That means they may not work in your territory (unless you use a VPN).
As well as our choices for best apps, we’ve also included a personal wishlist of services that aren’t yet Chromecast-compatible, as well as some decidedly naff apps to steer well clear of.
Best Chromecast apps 2017
Get these Chromecast apps downloaded right away, to really make the most of your Google streamer.
Read our reviews of the original and 2015 editions of ChromecastThe BBC’s beloved iPlayer is supported by literally hundreds of smart TV platforms and Chromecast is no exception. It works seamlessly, easily letting you ‘cast catch-up shows to your TV with the simple tap of the Cast icon – that little rectangle with the RSS-style waves bottom-left.
After BBC iPlayer one of the first things we check for when we get a new smart TV device is whether or not you can get Netflix on it.
Netflix on Chromecast lets you use your phone or tablet as a second screen – you can search for the TV episodes or films you want to watch on Netflix and cast them to the screen.
You can even queue up the next episode or film to watch on your phone or screen while the current stream you’re watching on your TV continues to play. If your phone rings you can answer it without interrupting the flow.
The Sky-owned streaming service Now TV now supports Chromecast, meaning you can get content including live Sky Sports, Sky Movies and top entertainment from channels including Sky 1, Sky Living and Sky Atlantic on your TV without a Sky TV subscription or a Now TV box.
If you’ve got the Now TV app on your iOS or Android device you’ll be able to easily cast content to your TV via Chromecast with a tap of Google’s TV icon.
Angry Birds Friends
What better way to use your enormous 4K television than for flinging enraged birds at pesky green swine? Exactly. Angry Birds Friends lets you control the action from your smartphone or tablet, as the explosive results play out on the big screen.
Lots of fun and super easy to use, this game is all about the multiplayer, with up to six of your mates competing for the best score. Perfect for those lazy Sunday afternoons.
As you’d expect from the name, you can indeed fling your Chrome browser window over to the Chromecast streaming device connected to your TV.
This means whatever you have open in your Chrome browser on a phone, tablet or computer, can be displayed on the TV. This opens up all sorts of possibilities for sharing videos on websites that don’t have Chromecast apps, as well as sharing snaps from a social site, or even reading and shopping using the big screen.
Daily Burn is a fully-fledged fitness video workout offering that works on your TV. Yup, no need to pay for an expensive class where everyone can scrutinise your exercise efforts, when you can do it at home instead.
Daily Burn includes a bunch of 30-minute workouts that you can simply follow along at home. These are guided and tailored for varying fitness levels, too. A new workout is available for every day of the year and there’s even a free 30 day trial to check out the service on your Chromecast. Yup, you just lost your last excuse to not get in shape – sorry.
The app designed to give a safe and educational space for children to explore is now available on the big screen. Let your child investigate the myriad offerings of YouTube Kids on their tablet, with the option to fling videos onto the TV for a more immersive experience.
The result should mean less back hunching over a tablet and less eye strain too. It might even give the tablet more of a chance of surviving a little longer, while you can more easily monitor what they’re actually up to. Just don’t blame us if your TV gets covered in finger marks.
Just Dance Now
The famous dance game has now made it to Chromecast. All you need is your phone in-hand to track your movements and you can follow the dance guidance on screen.
No console or controller or dance pads are needed, just the app and your Chromecast connected TV. It’s even multiplayer compatible, so you can enjoy a game or two with friends.
The on-demand player formerly known as 4oD is now Chromecast friendly, meaning you can now search for the likes of Made In Chelsea, The Undateables, Hollyoaks and Deutschland 83 on your phone and cast them to your TV.
On top of catching up with recently aired content from all of the Channel 4 channels – that’s E4, More 4, 4Seven, Film4 and, er, Channel 4 – you can also rifle through the vaults and stream entire seasons of Spaced, Skins, Black Books, Brass Eye and more.
ITV Player is available on Chromecast, to let you take your regular trip down to the Rovers Return in Corrie or to the edge of that X-Factor stage, all via your Chromecast.
ITV Hub not only lets you enjoy catch-up for shows you missed, but you can also now watch live TV too. From Emmerdale to The Nightly Show, it’s all here. Simply open the app on your phone, tablet or computer and fling to Chromecast to enjoy it all on your big screen TV.
A new name, a new platform. Channel 5 has embraced its My 5 app name and with that comes a Chromecast app. Now you can open My 5 on your device and fling its content straight to your Chromecast.
My 5 features box sets of shows, as well as exclusives like Comedy Bigmouths or FIA Formula E: Street Racers. But, of course, this is the one place you can get Neighbours – so it’s worth downloading the app for that alone, right?
BT Broadband customers can get BT Sport for free, so it makes sense to use it on a big screen.
Now thanks to Chromecast support you can easily stream Premier League football action on your TV. Both the iOS and Android BT Sport apps have added Chromecast support, letting you stream live and catch-up content from BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN.
The Tesco-owned streaming service is now Chromecast-compatible, meaning Johnny-come-lately fans who are just waking up to the greatness of Mad Men, Game of Thrones, True Detective and others can dip into all of these shows at your convenience.
Unlike many streaming services there’s no monthly subscription with Blinkbox – you just pay for what you want when you want to watch it.
The BBC Sport iOS and Android apps both feature Chromecast support, great news for footy fans now that teh Premier League season has kicked off again.
When you’re browsing through the app on your phone or tablet, BBC Sport will automatically detect when you’re viewing content that can be viewed on your TV – the familiar Chromecast icon will ghost into life in the top right corner of your screen.
Turn your television into a streaming music speaker using Spotify. If you have the TV hooked up to a sound system then this app will help you take full advantage of that via the Chromecast.
Start listening just as you would normally within the iOS or Android app then select output device as Chromecast to begin streaming instantly to that speaker. Control everything from the phone anywhere within range of the Wi-Fi network, ideal for pumping it up to hear all over the house.
The TED platform is one of the most respected in the world when it comes to educating people on real world issues. Now it’s moved beyond your phone and onto any screen using Chromecast.
The app features over 2000 talks which can be laid out in your own playlist, so while watching via Chromecast you can queue up your next video on your smartphone.
Yup, Chromecast can even make your TV a gaming machine. This classic-style game can be flung to the big screen, using your phone or tablet as a controller.
You can battle with up to five other players, making Alien Invaders a living room adventure. If nothing else it helps break up a binge TV marathon with something a bit more engaging, right?
When you next get in from a mammoth session of Pokémon GO, you can continue living in the world of Pikachu and pals using the Pokémon TV app – now Chromecast friendly.
The free app is crammed full of Pokémon episodes which can be cast to a TV using Chromecast with the good old cast icon.
When it comes to leaving you can end the casting and save an episode for offline viewing while on the move too. Seamless.
If you’re a fan of the Revision3 tech round-up show then you’ll be pleased to learn that both the iOS and Android apps support Chromecast.
Whether you’re into Film Riot, Hak 5 or Tekzilla, you’ll be able to get your Revision 3 fix on Chromecast here.
The individual apps for Film Riot and the like haven’t been updated for Chromecast support just yet, but it’s really easy to scroll through the whole Revision 3 menu, find the Chromecast icon and ping whatever you want to your big screen.
Pay per view-cum-subscription service Wuaki.tv reckons that the majority of its customers watch content through the many smart TVs apps – but what if you’ve not got a smart TV? Fear not, for Wuaki offers Chromecast support on its iOS and Android apps.
Content available on Wuaki now includes Game of Thrones, True Detective and True Blood, alongside other high-profile HBO shows.
Red Bull TV
For fans of extreme sports as well as people who just want something cool to watch on Chromecast, Red Bull TV is an essential app download.
Red Bull TV serves up free HD clips of skateboarding, surfing, UCI Mountain Biking and trails as well as previews of sponsored events like the Red Bull Air Race and Red Bull Rampage. Enough to get anyone’s blood pumping.
Both the iOS and Android YouTube apps have supported Chromecast from the beginning, letting you quickly and easily ‘cast the latest viral video craze/annoying song to your TV.
To be honest if you don’t have Chromecast, you could already do this thanks to YouTube Leanback on YouTube-friendly smart TVs and TV boxes – a good feature to namedrop if you fancy trolling anyone who has just spent £30.
Alongside YouTube and Red Bull TV, DailyMotion is another free video streaming app that’s been updated to support Chromecast.
DailyMotion is available now on iOS and Android. These apps allow anyone to record and upload videos to the platform right from within the app – one great way to access your content on the big screen via Chromecast.
Best Chromecast apps 2017: Coming soon and what we’d like to see
The folllowing apps either don’t exist or are being worked on, but we’d really like to see them on Chromecast sooner rather than later.
Amazon Prime Video (formerly Lovefilm Instant)
Given Amazon’s reticence to launch Prime Video on any Android devices other than its own Kindle Fire tablets (until recently) combined with the fact that its hawking its own range of Fire TV devices (including the Chromecast-like Fire TV Stick) we’re not expecting Prime Video to support Chromecast anytime soon.
Then again, it’d be nice for owners of iPads and Kindle tablets to ‘cast episodes of Vikings, Extant, and eventually Clarkson, Hammon and May’s new show to the big screen.
With all that said and done, Amazon has yet to announce its Chromecast intentions (if it even has any), so watch this space.