If you're going to watch local video files on your mobile device or Chromecast, Plex is one of the best ways to do it. This app relies on a server on your PC that transcodes almost any file and streams it to the app so you don't have to carry everything around. Today's update to v3.9 doesn't change the basic functionality, but it cuts down on the number of apps and brings a modest redesign.
If you have a lot of media files on your computer or server and you like the freedom of streaming them to your mobile phones, tablets, TVs, and other screens, chances are you're either using XBMC or Plex. For fans of the latter, there's some good news waiting for you in the form of a major update to the Android app.
Playlist support has been added to Plex on both the mobile layout and Android TV.
Plex makes streaming media from your PC or server to another device staggeringly easy. It's also a killer deal with on-the-fly transcoding, Chromecast, automatic library organization, and a ton of other features for just a few bucks per month. It was such a good deal that Plex decided the cost of a premium Plex Pass subscription should go up a little. The upside being current subscribers can lock in their rate.
Plex is one of the best ways to stream local media to your mobile devices and the Chromecast, and today the Android app is getting a cool improvement. Version 3.3 adds support for Plex's background photo upload feature so your pics will always be backed up. However, it's a premium user feature for now.
Chromecast support came a little early to the Plex app, but it also came with a catch – only premium PlexPass subscribers could use it. That was only a temporary situation, as the developers added features and improved the feature. Now the preview period is over and everyone can enjoy Plex's excellent content streaming with Chromecast support without a subscription.
Plex was one of the early apps to add Chromecast support. This is great, because as a service that takes content stored on one of your computers and makes it accessible anywhere, it's the ideal candidate for Chromecasting. Yet the team isn't settling for simply putting videos up on the big screen, and after the latest update, the app now goes a step further by tossing up detailed information on it while you browse through content on your mobile device.
The Chromecast launched last summer with a lot of promise, but very limited app support. We've been limping along these last few months with only the occasional addition like Pandora and HBO Go to keep us going. Well, now the floodgates are beginning to open. Google just announced 10 new apps are launching with Chromecast support, and some of them are super-exciting.
Plex Sync has been out for over a year now, allowing users to sync multimedia from a computer to their Android devices. Yet there are two primary weaknesses inherent with this setup. One, it requires that users have a host computer running at all times, and two, target mobile devices must have enough room to hold the desired files. Now Plex is looking to alleviate this issue with the introduction of Cloud Sync, a service that will let you sync files with Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud storage providers.
A few days ago, Plex announced that a completely redesigned version of its app was getting pretty close to completion, and that a beta build would be available "later this week." Well, it's later this week, and the beta version is now in in the Play Store. Awesome.
As previously noted, it's only available for PlexPass subscribers at the current time. Of course, if you pay monthly or yearly for extra Plex stuff, then you deserve some extra perks.
Can we be honest with ourselves? Plex kinda sucks. Hard to blame it, most third-party media centers on Android do at the moment. As a lengthy blog post by the developer points out, part of that has been due to Android's inflexibility and lack of a coherent UI in its history. That's changed over the last couple years and now Plex has been rebuilt from the ground up to be a lot more beautiful and a lot more functional.