AllCast for Android slickly sends photos, videos to TVs

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Thanks to an Android app called AllCast, you don’t need an iPhone and Apple TV to show off your most heartwarming holiday videos.

AllCast lets you beam photos and videos from an Android phone to numerous smart TVs and set-top boxes. Supported devices include Roku, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Google TV, Apple TV, and smart TVs from Samsung and Panasonic.

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Controlling playback in the AllCast app for Android

AllCast was previously in beta and available only through sideloading, but now you can download AllCast straight from the Google Play Store. The free app has advertisements, a splash screen and a 60-second limit on videos. You can remove those restrictions with a $5 license.

In my initial testing, the app worked well on an HTC One in conjunction with an Xbox One, quickly recognizing the console and offering it as a playback option. There’s no need to even pick up an Xbox One controller, as AllCast opens the Xbox Video app automatically after you select a photo or video from the phone. (AllCast converts photos into video, allowing them to play through the Xbox Video app.)

It’s not a completely flawless experience. The app creates a notification on the phone while beaming a photo or video, but tapping the notification during photo playback failed to direct me back to the app. There was also no way to stop playback while viewing a photo, short of just closing the Xbox Video app. On one occasion, AllCast showed two instances of the Xbox One on the recognized device list, requiring a restart of the Android app. Overall, though, the ability to quickly send a photo or video to the television was impressive.

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Selecting a playback device with AllCast

Developer Koushik Dutta promises support for music playback in the future. Support for Chromecast is also coming “when Google allows it.” Google infamously prevented the beta version of AllCast from working with the $35 TV dongle, and has yet to offer an alternative for sending photos and videos directly from an Android phone or tablet. Chromecast support may come with the launch of public software developer tools, which according to GigaOM, are coming some time next year.

This story, "AllCast for Android slickly sends photos, videos to TVs" was originally published by TechHive.

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