The Chromecast is only $35, but CheapCast is as cheap as it gets – free. Just install it on your Android device and it shows up on your network like a Chromecast. This is handy in a number of situations, but the app has been lacking some features since it launched. The new version that just showed up in Google Play should address some of that.

2013-11-25 23.39.28

CheapCast v0.4.1-BETA makes a few important changes to the code. Here's the changelog:

  • CheapCast is now powered by Chromium.
  • Added Support for Tab Casting.
  • Resolve ChromeCast Apps via Google Service.
  • Moved Donations to IAP due to Play Store ToS changes.

2013-11-25 23.44.27-1

The Tab Casting thing is very cool. That means you'll be able to get your desktop Chrome browser tab up on your Cheapcast device (or whatever screen it's plugged into). That could be a webpage or a Flash video, for example. It only seems to work with tabs, not the experimental full-screen casting. The app is also backed by Chromium now, which should make things work better in general, especially for users on Android 4.3 or earlier. It's all still free, so maybe toss the developer some cash with an IAP donation.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Leif Sikorski

    This is a nice update. I had much trouble with the old version, but this one works perfectly fine on my S4. Hopefully we'll see the release of the Chromecast SDK and many new apps soon after the Chromecast hackathon on 7/8th December.

  • waldon

    Is this more of a proof of concept app? I don't see any situation you might wanna send a video from your laptop/other mobile device to another mobile device.

    • RealTNT

      There are Android TV sticks.

      • Mlibbey

        but those android TV sticks dont need a chromecast because they will already have youtube/netflix etc on it..not trying to argue i just cant think of a time someone would use this i honestly would like to know

        • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

          Those Android TV Sticks are also a pain in rear to control - you have no idea how simply it is when I come across a YouTube video on a website that I would rather watch on a bigger screen - I can just click the cast icon and it's on the TV without having to faff about with the air mouse nonsense, find youtube, search youtube navigate to the fullscreen icon. Why would I want to do all that when I can just click a single icon on my phone, tablet or laptop? It's a Tronsmart MK908

          • ablecable

            +1 on that, it is handier to throw content to my Android stick without having to put down my cell phone or Chromebook.

        • RealTNT

          Exactly what Andy J said. I have one of those sticks and although they're ok if you have no other option, they are a bit awkward to control. It's far more convenient to just use a phone/tablet and just send it to your TV.

        • ablecable

          Android sticks lack the functionality of the Chrome browser - no extensions - so if you use an extension like Hola, Cheapcast appears to be a solution. I have not tried this yet, so I cannot speak to its functionality. Cheapcast has been glitchy with Play Music and YouTube so far, not a big deal but disappointing as the display on my Chromecast is far more pleasing for Play Music than it is on the MK808 running the Play Music app.

    • Matthew Fry

      Watching South Park on my Nexus 10? I tried Puffin Browser (has flash support) and it was out of sync. I don't know know if this will be any better but it's worth a shot.

      Hulu on your TV without paying 8 dollars a month?

    • Liam Higgins

      personally i have my old htc sensation attached to my receiver for my surround sound system with the headphone cable, and use my phone and nexus 7 to cast music from google play music to the surround sound system wirelessly. there are actually tons of options for an app like this

    • Jeff Baker

      My Xoom is mounted in my kitchen, wired to a stereo. I cast to it all the time.

    • Cuvis

      Hook your phone up to your TV. Control it from your laptop. Done.

    • http://LifeGuy.com/ Daniel LifeGuy Dragan

      If you have an Android TV stick, you can make that work like a Chromecast

  • http://mrmcpowned.com mrmcpowned

    "It only seems to work with tabs, not the experimental full-screen casting."

    I beg to differ http://i.imgur.com/Pq4Ksvy.png

    • RyanWhitwam

      Well, it didn't work for me.

      • http://mrmcpowned.com mrmcpowned

        Yet I'm running CheapCast on a Note II running 4.2 with TouchWiz. Weird.

        • jjm

          Note II 4.2 touchwiz. Does not compute

  • Tom

    Sounds interesting!

  • Aki I.

    force closes all the time now on my evo4g. it used to at least be able to connect to google music. now nothing.

  • Johnny Bravo

    downloading now. hope it works with kit kat

  • Random!

    How well does it work to cast video and tabs to a weak device, like a galaxy s?

  • Roemraw

    "It only seems to work with tabs, not the experimental full-screen casting."

    Full screen casting seems to work for me.
    Nexus5, latest version of Chrome and the Google cast extension.
    I have 2 screens hooked up and they are nicely displayed side-by-side on my phone when I select it to do so.

  • james kendall

    ok im loving the CheapCast. note to self get a hdmi cable for my phone or get a android tv stick.