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Cheapcast app turns any Android device into a Chromecast dongle

A new app has hit the Google Play Store that offers the main features of the Chromecast dongle without the cost or wait time for the popular new piece of kit.

Cheapcast, developed by an XDA user, gives any Android device running version 2.2 or newer the ability to become the target [first screen] for all Chromecast-enabled applications.

To broadcast to a second screen, the device must either be on the same Wi-Fi network or, in the case of a TV, there should be an HDMI out to connect the device to it.

Cheapcast can only stream the limited number of apps that Chromecast can, meaning YouTube, Netflix, and Google Music as well as limited casting using the Chrome web browser, can be broadcast.

It will be good news for Android owners waiting to buy the popular device that is almost as rare as a dodo in US stores and hasn’t even hit the shops in the UK or a host of other countries.

Chromecast is an affordable alternative to the likes of Apple TV and Roku 2 in that it costs $35 [£23] as opposed to the circa £100 investment that the other two will set consumers back.

The Chromecast dongle fits into the HDMI port at the back of any HDTV and allows media to be streamed from a smartphone, tablet or notebook. As mentioned earlier, the dongle only has a limited number of apps, however, an API for the device has been released and more apps should be released in the future.

Reception for the Cheapcast app has been positive on the Google Play Store with 343 ratings averaging out at 4.5 stars and while the world waits to be able to buy Chromecast, this is a more than acceptable alternative in the mean time.