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VLC Adding Chromecast Support to Android, iOS and Desktop Apps

Open-source media app to bring its famous versatility to the big screen

The Chromecast head on.

The Google Chromecast

Popular cross-platform media player VLC is about to get a whole lot more popular with Chromecast fans.

VideoLAN, the development team behind the open-source app, which is often described as the Swiss Army Knife of video players thanks to its ability to play virtually any file format, has confirmed plans to include Chromecast support in future releases of its apps on Android, iOS and, most interestingly, desktop.

Google’s cheap media streamer is already supported by a number of leading mobile applications, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and is  available to buy in a growing number of countries. 

iOS First, Android Second, Desktop Later

Chromecast functionality will appear first in the iOS app in the form of a plugin, says the project’s resident OS X and iOS developer Felix Paul Kühne. Speaking to Gigaom, Kühne says iPhone and iPad users can expect to receive an update featuring cast support sometime in the next 4-6 weeks.

The official VLC for Android app will also be kitted out with the feature once the iOS version has been released.

Kühne, posting on the official VLC Forum, also says desktop users can expect to find casting functionality in the future, too:

“In addition [...] we are also working on a Windows / Linux / Mac implementation, which will take a bit longer because it’s harder.”

The delay in enabling desktop cast support lies squarely at the feet of Google as they’re yet to formally offer an SDK to desktop app developers. It’s because of this that enabling desktop-to-TV casting will be tricky. The VLC team will need to get creative to offer it in the near future, mostly likely by working in tandem with the official Chrome browser extension.

Download VLC for iOS

While it’ll be a while before we see VLC developers tackle the feature on the desktop, the iOS app is on course to gain Chromecast support sometime during the next month or so.

VLC for iOS is a free app available from the App Store.

Download VLC for iOS on the App Store

  • Yvan Philogène

    Let’s hope for a VLC Chrome App!

    • https://fossreviews.wordpress.com/ Ads20000

      Porting that to JavaScript would be a MASSIVE pain. Although maybe with Emscripten…?

      • Jonathan Almeida

        I was just going to say, even with emscripten the libraries involved would be massive. Sounds like a cool weekend experiment though.

      • Yvan Philogène

        PNaCl maybe

    • http://aidan.info.tm/ Zack Casey

      … Or could just use the VLC libaries.

  • Riley Biers

    This literally has nothing to do with ChromeOS.

    • https://fossreviews.wordpress.com/ Ads20000

      I believe that the website is called ‘OMG! Chrome!’ not ‘OMG! Chrome OS!’ It’s about the Chrome[cast] so this counts.

      • Jonathan Almeida

        To help with your case, Chromecast is basically running a very minimal version of ChromeOS.

        • Kolappan kols

          Are you sure about this?

          • Jonathan Almeida

            Yes, at the press conference they mentioned it. There were some people arguing whether it was Chrome or Chrome OS, but we don’t care about that in this context.

      • http://twitter.com/d0od Joey-Elijah Sneddon

        Spot on, Ads20000.

    • PhantomTurtle

      The article mentions nothing about ChromeOS.

    • http://aidan.info.tm/ Zack Casey

      But it is Chrome related.

    • http://twitter.com/d0od Joey-Elijah Sneddon

      Hi Riley,

      We cover a range of Chrome-related items, including desktop Chrome, mobile Chrome, Chrome OS and related hardware, the Chromium open-source project, various Google apps that are bundled with Chrome OS (Gmail, Docs, etc), relevant industry news ….and Chromecast, which runs a stripped down version of Chrome OS. Google is also tightly integrating Chromecast features into the Chrome browser on mobile and desktop.

    • Chuck Cortes

      Maybe I’m the village idiot here but where does it say that this website is only about ChromeOS related articles? Last I checked there are plenty of Non-ChromeOS related articles on here. As someone already stated, its called OMG Chrome so duh. Also to as someone else said Chromecast runs a minimal version of ChromeOS soi n reality this is ChromeOS after all. Now back to the realsmartcm, oments.

    • http://scifimafia.com Brandon

      The website is named, “OMG CHROME,” which means it deals with all things CHROME. Chromecast definitely falls into that category.

  • Jane Robert

    If you still want a Chromecast, buy it now between June 9, 2014 – June 30, 2014 and get $20 toward movies, music,game and more on Google Play.
    http://j.gs/3vki

    • Jonathan Almeida

      I bought mine ages ago, I still got the $20!

      Once you’ve connected your mobile device to your Chromecast via the app, there’s an option there to check for offers. I checked it, and presto!

      • Russell

        Jonathan, what country are you in? I’m in the US and I tried from my phone, my PC, my tablet… I bought my S5 and my Tab Pro 10.1 on May 1st. It says there are no offers available in my country at this time.

        • http://jonalmeida.com Jonathan Almeida

          I’m in Canada, so I expect it should work for you as well. I just tried this again right now and I still see the option there.

          Maybe this is limited to Canada only (unbelievable really)?

          • Russell

            Well, it is literally true and actually happened to me just now in about 5 different ways. I mean, if you’re saying it’s unbelievable in an “I’m doing it wrong sense.”

            If you mean you’re just shocked that it turned out to be true, so am I. If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.

          • http://jonalmeida.com Jonathan Almeida

            It was the latter :) I’ve never known Canada to get a Google feature before US (!)

            Maybe they’re expecting some setup to be included before this. (I’m just shooting into the wild here) Is your chromecast setup? Do you have a payment option setup? Is there a TOS somewhere that you haven’t accepted yet (i.e. Google Play, etc.)

          • Russell

            It’s been set up for a short while now. It wasn’t on my tablet, which was the only way I was able to even GET the “Look for offers” tab to show up. I have payment options through PayPal and Google set up… I even just discovered last week the ENDLESS offers that came with buying my tablet and phone (I got a $25 Google Play credit for my tablet to start!).

            Everything’s been accepted, set up, works perfectly. It finds my ChromeCast and pops up and says “there are currently no offers for your ChromeCast. I go to their site via the link when it asks if I want to be sure and it tells me my COUNTRY has no offers at this time.

            Oh well… Thanks for even mentioning that you got it no matter what.

          • conor

            It was a Canada only Father’s Day Special. Check the Google Canada blog.

          • http://jonalmeida.com Jonathan Almeida

            Thanks for clearing that up!

  • Ian Liu

    Does this mean that I will be able to stream videos from my computer to the TV via VLC+ChromeCast? Awesome!

  • ERYREB

    Why would they add support in this order? Seems a bit stupid to add the smallest OS first, and also the least likely to use Chromecast.

    Should be Windows, then Android and then IOS.

    • Espionage724

      It says right in the article they’re doing it based on the amount of work needed. Did you miss the quote?

      Of course, if you’re willing to help their developer team out, I’m sure you could get Windows supported quicker.

      • ERYREB

        I’m quite capable of reading. Irrespective of the amount of work, the IOS version will be barely used, and their efforts would be better spent on Windows and Android, where there are actual users awaiting this capability.

  • LeadTheLeader

    Nice job guys! =D
    Led Lampen

  • Hmida TroisMille

    Popcorntime team has managed to make their app chromecast compatible on android. It shouldn’t take long for vlc team :)

    • Andrei Zisu

      There is a massive difference between the two. PCT downloads the files from the internet, while VLC streams from the local device.

      • Hmida TroisMille

        I don’t agree.
        When chromecasting, PCT is also streaming file parts from local device.

        • Andrei Zisu

          You sure?

          • Hmida TroisMille

            Nope :-) But I doubt PCT is streaming directly from torrent seeds to chromecast. There must be a buffer on local drive. So it streams local mp4 file chunks to the chromecast I guess.
            So I don’t see why VLC couldn’t do it too :-)

          • Andrei Zisu

            Yeah, now that I think of it, it makes sense. I don’t think you’d be getting a torrent client working on Chromecast.

    • Tyson_Q

      Now Popcorn time has desktop chromecast and on VLC it’s null

  • Mr Potatoman

    Why iOS? Who even uses iOS anymore? Change the order to; Android, Desktop, Mac, Linux, iOS.

  • Al

    Android, Linux, Desktop, Mac, iOS please