Developer Koushik Dutta first released his app AllCast shortly after the launch of Google's Chromecast. Back then, it allowed Android users to display content from their phone's gallery, Dropbox account, and Google Drive on a TV screen with the help of Google's HDMI dongle. But it was a short lived experiment; in late summer, Google delivered a Chromecast update that broke AllCast. The company voiced support for local playback apps, but said that the Chromecast SDK is currently limited to select partners — at least during the developer preview stage — "to provide a great experience for users." Undeterred, Dutta kept working on AllCast, and today it has launched in the Google Play Store. Just don't expect Chromecast support, as it's still not there.
Instead, AllCast has returned with a focus on open DLNA devices, or "almost anything you hook up to your TV" as Dutta says. That includes Roku boxes, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One, smart TVs from Samsung and Panasonic, Google TV hardware, and more. And like before, it's fairly simple; just tap on a photo or video stored on your device to have it play back on your TV screen. A scrubber bar appears at the bottom when videos are playing, and quick controls can be accessed through Android's pulldown notification screen. The basic version is free, but a $4.99 premium version removes a restriction on video length, all advertising, and splash screens. Dutta still notes that his app will be compatible with Chromecast "someday."