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The Easy Way: Set Up a Wi-Fi Hotspot Using Your Laptop

32 of the best Google Chromecast Apps
Chromecast in Chrome tab cast mode works similar to mirroring, but using a totally different technology. Whether you're looking to stream some great new shows and movies, play a game or two with a friend on the TV or start a house party with some tunes, we've found some of the best apps to do just that. You're essentially given a blank screen to doodle, paint, draw, and spray-can to your heart's content. Microsoft put a guide page here. Check your email to confirm your subscription. The Home app gives you access to a few simple configuration options Wi-Fi settings, screen saver image sources, and so on but you have precious little ability to troubleshoot technical problems.

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There was just one problem with it: HBO Go required a cable subscription. It wasn't until HBO Now was announced that our eyes were opened to the bigger picture. As a standalone streaming service like Netflix and Hulu, HBO Now unshackled itself premium cable packages, allowing users to watch shows like Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley without buying a whole cable package.

After its short, three-month exclusivity contract with Apple came to a close in August , it rocketed to the top as one of the best Chromecast-compatible streaming apps out there. Currently unavailable in Australia. As a trade-off, however, you don't have the latest shows and movies at your fingertips. Using your Google account, you can instantly purchase and watch anything on the Play Store think movies and TV shows from recently released blockbusters to videophile classics without needing to download the content on your mobile device.

Couple that with an easy-to-understand interface and seamless Chromecast compatibility, and the Google Play app quickly becomes the best piecemeal video service on either platform. Even the stingiest of streamers can appreciate YouTube's fantastic and free Chromecast-enabled mobile app.

It's interface is simplistically designed, just like the Chromecast itself, so it's only a matter of seconds from when you find a funny video until it's broadcast on your big screen. Not only is it a pretty great cable alternative, but it's a darn good Chromecast app, too. YouTube is free to download on both iOS and Android.

Once upon a time, we might've recommended that you download Rdio as your go-to Chromecast music streaming app. Unfortunately, however, the music streaming gods saw fit to cast Rdio into the abyss and, for awhile, the world was audio-less. Set your stream to Kbps in the settings, sit back, relax and enjoy your new favorite streaming app.

Let there be sound. Google Play Music is the ultimate player for anyone heavily invested in the Mountain View company's audio store. Able to stream tunes from your library as well as from a massive catalog of on-demand music, Google one-ups the competition by adding Chromecast support to its iOS and Android Google Play Music apps. We've sung Plex's praises before: Plex's best trick, however, is that it can send this stream to your Chromecast, effectively giving you a set-top box with access to any movie or TV show you can possibly imagine.

Plex is free on both iOS and Android. Perhaps unsurprisingly, being so big and so bright the channel offers a free app that works with Chromecast. On it you'll find new episodes of the Doctor and Looper, as well as need-to-know news stories.

Of course if you don't have your handset handy you can always stream from your laptop or tablet to the big screen, too. As well as its own Spotify Connect, the world's biggest streaming service also allows you to use Google's Chromecast to play music either through your stereo or TV.

If you opt for the latter then you'll see your currently playing track displayed on screen, but we imagine most people will opt to play Spotify through a Chromecast Audio to get their stereo streaming-connected. With an increasing number of streaming speakers on the market now supporting Spotify Connect you might not need to plug in a Chromecast, but this is a great option for anyone looking to upgrade an old stereo.

AllCast offers an all-in-one way to take movies, music and pictures from your small screen and shoot it to your dongle.

The free version slots in a few annoying ads and limits video length to a few minutes, but for frugal streamers it's the easiest, most effective method to taking your content from your mobile device to the big screen. AllCast is available on iOS and Android. Only the free version is available in the UK. At this point we've covered the best ways to share movies, music, TV shows and photos with Chromecast, but what if you want to show off some good ol' web pages?

For that your best bet is Chrome. Like using a web browser on a desktop, the mobile versions of Google Chrome essentially mirror your screen, letting everyone around see what you're seeing on your phone.

With Spotify Connect being included in an increasing amount of speakers, Tidal users were starting to feel slightly left out when it came to getting their music streaming to speakers around the house. Thankfully a recent update to the service now means that Tidal users can enjoy lossless CD-quality music around the house, which continues to leave Spotify in the dust in terms of pure music quality. Finding a rock-solid Chromecast game is the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack.

More entertaining games have made their way onto the system see: Tricky Titans takes your standard rock-paper-scissors game and adds in up to four ogres dead-set on destroying each other's town by hurling pieces of your settlement at your opponents. It's silly, hokey and not overly complex, but Tricky Titans is a fun party game that will hold your attention just long enough to have a good time. Need to entertain your kids on a rainy day? Download Just Dance Now. When you first set up your Chromecast, you may notice the ability to enable "guest mode.

If you didn't enable the feature at first, it's not too late: Open the Google Home app and tap the Devices button on the top right, then the three vertical dots next to the Chromecast entry, then Guest Mode. Once you've turned it on, Guest Mode lets anyone send media to your device by entering a custom PIN that appears in the app. If you decide to block people again, you can disable guest mode by navigating back to the Guest Mode menu. The Google Home smart speaker can work seamlessly with one or more Chromecasts.

Once you've set up both your speaker and your streaming device s , the Google Home app can coordinate actions between the two. To play music, movies, or shows—no tapping or selecting required—simply say "OK Google" and tell your Home device to play whatever you want to see or hear on whatever you've named your Chromecast.

But you can add other options: Open the Google Home app and tap the menu button on the top left, then More settings, then Music or Videos and Photos. Here, you can select third-party apps, such as Netflix and Spotify, to link with your account. For more guidance on setting them up, read Google's guide on playing TV shows and movies.

While Chromecasts primarily stream audio and video straight from apps, you can also cast websites from the Google Chrome browser. This comes in handy for showing on-screen presentations, photo slideshows, and so on.

But if you're planning to cast music and movies, you're better off using specific Chromecast-compatible apps. First, make sure to connect your computer to the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast. Next, open the Chrome browser and hit the three dots on the top-right of the interface to access its menu. Choose Cast from the list, select your specific Chromecast, and the foremost browser tab should show up on the big screen.

Once you're done, stop casting by clicking the bright-blue Chromecast icon on the tab itself or by once again selecting the Cast option from the Chrome menu. By default, when your TV is on but you're not actively streaming, your Chromecast will show a slideshow of eye-catching images curated by Google.

But you can display your own snaps as the device screensaver instead. To set it up, head into the Google Home app, tap the Devices button on the top right.

Get the most out of Chromecast