Google's Chromecast is quite literally one of my favorite inventions of the past five years, allowing me to kick back, relax, and enjoy the various forms of streaming entertainment it has up for grabs.
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But as awesome as it is for a tranquil night in, using this little device for your next party can take it to the next level and provide additional entertainment to your guests. To make sure your next shindig is a hit, here are some of our favorite Chromecast apps to use at your next party.
A party is pretty boring without music. While we'll be going over some unique music apps, here are some apps you may already have that support Chromecast.
You may have noticed that Spotify, one of the most popular music streaming services, has yet to include Chromecast support, which has upset many of their loyal users. Fortunately, there's a simple third-party workaround called Spoticast, and you can use the guide below to get started with it now.
If you want the music at your party to be more of a collective, democratic experience, then check out QCast Music. With a Google Play Music All Access or Spotify subscription, you'll be able to create a playlist where anyone with the QCast app can then contribute with songs of their own, essentially turning your TV into a group jukebox.
Although you could technically use YouTube to find and cast karaoke songs with scrolling lyrics, KaraokeCast makes it easier to find songs and queue them up for the next batch of amateur singers to passionately belt out.
Along with music, playing games also allows for a more entertaining party experience. With everyone gathered around the television for some friendly competition, you're bound to enjoy some great laughs.
Start by checking out Big Web Quiz (for Android and iOS). Designed by Google specifically for use with Chromecast, this multiplayer quiz game is one that's definitely worth mentioning.
Cards Against Humanity is a raunchy adult card game that closely resembles the innocent kids game Apples to Apples. Hands down, this is one of the most enjoyable games I've ever played, and now you can enjoy it with all your friends on your television, thanks to CardCast.
Motion Tennis Cast smartly utilizes the motion sensors in your Android to make it function like a Wiimote, allowing you to play tennis via your Chromecast like you would on a Nintendo Wii console. Although also available for iOS, it'll cost your $5.00 and can only be played via Apple TV.
If you need to get your retro game fix, then our past roundup covering multiple old-school games for Android and iOS is definitely worth taking a look at. Enjoy your next throwback Thursday or flashback Friday with the likes of Brickbreaker, Snake, or Tetris via Chromecast.
Still haven't scratched your gaming itch? For additional games that you can play at your party with your Chromecast, take a look our other roundup, which features trivia, tic tac toe, and more.
Not every Chromecast app can be categorized under music or games, so here are some additional ways to take advantage of your Chromecast during a party.
If it's a special occasion, like a birthday for your buddy, then you might want to set a custom image as your Chromecast's backdrop. For this, you won't be needing a third-party app, just the Chromecast app and a Google+ account.
As the party dies down and people start to take off, you may want to revisit some the highlights from earlier that night, and what better way than casting images or videos you captured on your television for all to see? A great way to do so is by using AllCast. The guide below goes over the Android app, but you can also grab it from the iOS App Store.
If you just want to have some entertaining videos playing on your television in the background amongst all the fun and revelry, 5by is an awesome app that'll do that. The app works as a "Video Concierge" and will display videos based off interests you designate when you launch the app.
Did we miss anything? Let us know some of your favorite Chromecast apps for parties, or whether some of these took your party to new levels of fun.