Allcast brings easy Chromecast photo beaming to iOS

Chromecast users now have one more way to beam iPhone photos onto the television with the arrival of Allcast for iOS.

Allcast provides a simple way to send photos, videos, and music to the big screen through Chromecast and other devices such as Xbox (360 and One), Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and certain smart TVs. Just open the app, hit the Cast icon to connect with the television, then select what you want to show. You can can then swipe through your gallery to cycle through photos on the TV.

In addition to beaming from your device's camera roll, Allcast can connect with online sources such as Instagram, Google+ and Dropbox. A $5 premium version removes advertisements and lifts the 1-minute limit on videos.

Why this matters: Allcast has been a popular photo-beaming solution on Android, with more than 3 million users. And while it's not the only option for sending your content to the television, its simple interface and support for several set-top boxes make it worth checking out.

Superior support, trouble with videos

Taking Allcast for a spin on my iPhone 6 Plus, I was impressed with how smoothly the app handled photos. It's come a long way from its initial Android release in this regard, taking only a second or two to update the TV screen as I swiped through my photo gallery, with no hiccups.

I wish I could say the same for Allcast's playback of videos stored on your iPhone. Each video I launched had maybe a 50-50 chance of actually playing on the television, and those particular videos refused to ever play even after re-launching and reconnecting the app to my Chromecast. Videos also take much longer to start than photos, and there's no feedback on the phone or television while they're loading, so I was never quite sure whether the videos were on the way to successful playback or not.

For videos, the free Photo Cast app is a much better solution. It had no trouble playing the videos that Allcast couldn't handle, and it offers several compression and resolution options to speed up playback. On the photo side, Photo Cast also offers slideshows and options to automatically scale and pan your pictures. On the downside, the free version slaps a watermark on the TV (removing it costs $3), but it's better than not being able to play certain videos at all.

Allcast is still your best bet if you have another device besides Chromecast connected to the TV, and its support for various online services is a standout feature. But if you're looking for the best way to beam your own photos and videos to Chromecast, keeping a couple different apps in your arsenal is still the way to go.


Jared Newman

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