Five apps that take Chromecast to the next level

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Chromecast is primarily used to access video services such as Netflix, YouTube and Hulu Plus, but Google’s streaming stick has the potential to do a whole lot more. For a glimpse at Chromecast’s future — and a more interactive Chromecast experience — check out these five apps:

GamingCast

GamingCast for Android is a simple retro game collection for Chromecast that lets you play Snake, Pong, Tetris and Xonix on your TV while using your Android device as a game controller.

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There is a little lag when playing, but these types of games obviously aren’t exactly known for super-smooth graphics either. GamingCast is fun, but also shows there’s some interesting potential for casual gaming on Chromecast.

QCast

QCast for Android is a quiz show that lets multiple players compete against each other. Okay, show is a bit of an overstatement, the game is really very bare-bones, but the questions are just hard enough, and the collaborative aspect works and is actually a lot of fun.

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YouTube was the first app that brought multiplayer interaction to Chromecast. This one is another play on the same idea, and it shows that a lot can be done by simply letting more than one person interact with your TV.

Rube

Rube for Android is a great app for doodling that allows users to cast their pictures to the big screen. It also supports Emoji, and users can import pictures from their camera roll, take photos, use different page styles and much more. Even better: You can cooperate with multiple people on a picture.

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The only thing that’s missing is a real-time component: strokes are cast after you’ve finished them on your mobile device, not while you’re drawing them, which makes this the wrong app for playing Pictionary. For that, give CastPad for Android a try.

Immersive Weather

Immersive Weather for Chrome is a web app that takes the idea of the Chromecast home screen to the next level by displaying localized weather information on top of a changing slideshow of photos that make your TV look good in your living room.

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There are still a few things that could be improved about this experience — for instance, the background photos occasionally look a little pixelated — but it clearly shows that Google could do a lot with Chromecast, especially if the company ever decided to make Google Now available on the device and turn TVs into a kind of personalized ambient information display. For another take on this, also try MyCastScreen for Android.

Jamo

Jamo for iPhone is a free dance fitness game that lets you wiggle along as instructors dance on your TV. Users can either dance by themselves or compete against someone else. Jamo is currently just available for iPhones, and also works with Apple TV as well as PCs, but it’s definitely a fun take on working out for Chromecast owners.

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