chromecast icon

Chromecast has been slowly but steadily adding support from major media apps since it launched: Hulu Plus, Pandora, and HBO GO have joined Netflix and Google's own Play Music, Play Movies, and YouTube. Apparently the Big G thinks this is enough to warrant a dedicated sub-section of the Play Store, as spotted by Google Operating System. Depending on your device and its resolution, it might show up on the main Apps page or necessitate a quick swipe to the left to open the Categories menu.

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There's not much to it: the feature is just a list of the seven apps mentioned above, plus an embedded "how to cast" video at the top. But it's showing up even on phones and tablets that don't have the Chromecast app installed, which would seem to indicate that Google is interested in promoting its miniature streaming wonder. It's also a positive indication (though by no means a conclusive one) that Google intends to keep expanding the selection of Chromecast-compatible apps. That being said, it's a bit odd to see that the Chromecast app itself is not included in the list.

chromecast-tab-1 chromecast-tab-2

Tablet image credit: Google Operating System

If you've got a Chromecast and you're a regular user of any of the supported services, odds are that you don't need this kind of thing - you've already got your streaming and Chromecast apps handy. But at least it shows that the Chromecast isn't going anywhere anytime soon... unlike certain orb-shaped streamers we could name.

Source: Google Operating System

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • james

    I just want proper chromecast support in Australia!

  • Alex Flynn

    Awesome, thanks Google!

    Now just let me f***ing buy it.

    • Anthony James

      unlike certain orb-shaped streamers we could name.

  • navjot

    Looks like this was just slapped in last minute. "CHROMECAST" is in all caps, while other categories are not. And that button in categories tab looks out of place on some devices.

    • Cesar

      I'm in the Play Store right now. The Apps home page has "GAMES" and "VERIZON" in all caps. The Categories page has "EDITORS' CHOICE" and "CHROMECAST" in all caps.

  • Franco Rossel

    7 apps?!! Brutal.
    Now, seriously Google, open up that Chromecast SDK for all devs.

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    • Colin Kealty

      just wait for their hackathon :)

      • sweenish

        I was sad the article didn't mention this. "Only 7 apps! Silly Google!" with no mention of the fact that there will likely be quite a few more in just two weeks.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/appestry/ Appestry

          I agree, their hackathon is just too little too late. Google just wants us, indie devs to not lose interest in their device. That hackathon email just said "upcoming release" of Cast SDK.

          I wrote a lot of code for their "preview" SDK and got tired of waiting for Google to respond with any timeline. So I took all that code and wrote a completely new app around it and just released it in Google Play: CLOUDCAST.

          Cloudcast lets you play online entertainment from one Android device to another, from anywhere on the planet! Unlike Chromecast, Cloudcast is NOT limited to your Wi-Fi network and you can stream content from ANY website in your device! Plug an Android stick or any tablet with HDMI output and enjoy videos on big screen!

          It's a free app, requires latest Google Play & YouTube apps and runs on Android 2.2 or above.

          Hopefully it alleviates some of the pain of waiting for new Chromecast apps!

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      I just want Plex, and DLNA (LAN) support, and I'd be happy.

    • Justy


    • https://sites.google.com/site/appestry/ Appestry

      Check out Split Browser 2.9.0 (or trial 2.4.0)... they are Chromecast ready! Cast away!!

      • Franco Rossel

        This post is from way before the Cast SDK was avaible. Of course there must be a plethora of Chromecast apps now.
        Thanks for the tip tough, I didn't knew there was a mobile browser ready for casting.

  • Brownstar

    You can also get to the Chromecast App section via the Chromecast app on your phone or tablet

  • Eduardo Mateos

    What it started being one of the most promising releases this year has ended up being the most ridiculous one.

    - No international support
    - No real use. It does not even work with the gallery to show your pictures or video
    - It has finally show it has no use, it is ridiculous to have a section with only seven apps, with only three new additions to what it was released months ago!
    - No SDK for developers. And we say Apple is not open...

    Seriously Google, you have turned a promising device into a crappy HDMI stick with no real use to no one.

    • Ryan Stewart

      Well, not no one.

      I use the hell out of mine. Google apps from the phone, HBO Go and Netflix and virtually the entire internet from the PC. I love casting tabs. I can go to any video stream and cast that content to my TV. All I need is an account with X provider and its like i have their channel (or better). Been watching tons of basketball on espn3.com.

      Of course it can get better but I cant complain given the price.

    • http://www.talltechtales.com/ Mattias

      Agree, they need to open up/make available the SDK for the wider developer community. Apps that support local streaming, galleries etc. needs to be allowed for this device to live up to its potential...but to say "no real use to no one" is going a little far. I'd love to have the gallery streaming of local photos, videos and music but I already have a solution I'm using for that so I can live without that until that's enabled through third party developments (hopefully it is at some point). As for the apps available, I use it for Netflix constantly, for myself and for my kids. Much quicker than booting up my now aging PS3 to use netflix through there or connecting the laptop through HDMI.

      I think there's two types of people (at least) that are looking at the Chromecast. those that are perfectly happy with what it has because even the limited functionality it has makes those tasks easier for some and then the hardcore crowd that wants to do whatever they want. I count myself as part of both...I want more but what it does do was worth the change I spent on it and I don't think the last word has been said on the Chromecast yet.

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      Amen to that... This would have been a success if they launched it internationally and opened up the SDK.

    • smirkis

      you're an idiot @eduardo_mateos:disqus. speak for yourself when you complain, i use my chromecast daily. and with the freebie of netflix, it was practically free. you barbarian.

      • Eduardo Mateos

        Thanks for being so respectful, I really appreciate it.

        You use it? Great for you. But tell me, of what I said, its not true

        - No international support
        - It does not work with the most basic gallery of your phone
        - It is ridiculous that, after months of release, it only has 7 apps
        - No SDK

    • mortis2600

      Coming out in the UK and Canada.

      Works with play music, Netflix, hulu and HBO go. So those are real uses.

      SDK is coming out with the hack-a-thon in 2 weeks.

      Sorry, you're wrong all around.

  • http://www.deadware.org/blog Riccardo B. Desantis

    Joke's on you, in Italy they're just 3 (Youtube, Play Music and Play Video), and the chromecast isn't even available for buying :D

  • Anthony James

    you've already got your streaming and Chromecast apps handy. But at least it shows that the Chromecast isn't going anywhere anytime soon...

  • grizzlyjon83

    With this, added along with Google opening up the sdk very soon, and with it going on sale at Walmart, it seems that Google is finally ready to push this thing real hard.

    I'm anticipating all of you people that have been yelling about lack of support to be satisfied very soon.

    • Roger Tomlin

      The thing there is that studies are showing that, in the U.S. at least, that more and more people are ditching traditional TV while media consumption on mobile devices is skyrocketing. I know I pretty much did away with a small TV and Roku box on my desk in favor of just using an old tablet on a stand. My cable provider has an app for watching the channels on mobile devices and networks like CBS are waking up to the trend as they have an app now and you are no longer dependent on a laptop to watch them online. The Chromecast is a nice alternative to other streaming boxes because of sans power adapter, I just think there may be a lack of interest overall by those who even do digest alot of TV because that report showed that pay TV subscription numbers overall are in the gutter.

      • JLM

        Chromecast isn't trying to replace your TV or your mobile device, it is giving you the ability to wirelessly link them.

  • Mario

    If Chromecast takes the same route as Gmail, it should be out of beta summer of 2018.

  • Chris

    I really hope DISH joins in on this fun. I've had my Chromecast sitting idle the past couple months :(.

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

    Also worth pointing out that in the UK we also have this section, even though we can't officially buy the device, the section shows up and lists the apps that we can use in the UK - this in combination with the recent job postings by Google for the Chromecast - make me vaguely hopeful they may get it on shelves here in time for xmas!

    • djdanster

      Available on Amazon UK :)

      • Chaosprower

        Imported from the US with no official support.

  • Casey Artner

    This has been accessible from the chromecast app since the last big update, btw.

  • Roi Katz

    7? that's good! here in Israel the section hold the mighty number of... 2! YouTube and Play Music...

    • Nancy Chilingirian

      Same here in Cyprus. Wonder if we will ever get to use it.

  • Maxorq

    The first "Google Operating System" link links to "on-device"

  • james kendall

    My issue with the Chromecast is that unless you have UPnP and you wifi wide open or use the dam WPS push button crap it's imposable to setup. good thing CheapCast works just fine without having UPnP enabled on any routers in my house.

    • mortis2600

      You do not need upnp. The chrome cast has a Wi-Fi broadcast that the app uses to connect and configure your Wi-Fi settings.

      • james kendall

        good to know as when it first came out the documentation basicly made it sound as if it magicly talked to your router via UPnP via your Ethernet connected desktop. so in essence the initial setup is just a at-hock wifi network called ChromeCast or the like that you talk to via your tablet etc you use the setup app and put in your other wifi network credentials and presto "it just works" (TM)

  • Mink Me

    excellent work by chrome.

    app store