It’s a little hard to find a Chromecast right now, but if you are jonesing to be able to beam your music and video content from your phone and tablet to a television, there may be another route to take. It’s called CheapCast, an app that will essentially turn any Android device into a Chromecast receiver. It comes in the form of an Android app that can be installed on any device that supports sideloading APKs.
The app allows you to name your device for Chromecast-enabled apps to identify it, and after both are up and running on the same WiFi network you can beam your music and video (in supported apps) to the CheapCast-enabled device just as if you had a Chromecast hooked up to a TV. Some have reported success with the OUYA, and there’s no good reason one of those portable Android multimedia sticks wouldn’t work.
Unfortunately the project is in the early stages right now. CheapCast cannot currently interface with the Chromecast extension for Google Chrome, meaning you won’t be able to beam your tabs at this time. There are also other potential shortcomings and bugs that might turn up.
CheapCast is in alpha, though, so we’re hopeful further app updates will bring us the full smorgasbord of Chromecast functionality. This open source project is sitting in the Google Play Store, so give it a whirl if you’re tired of trying to chase down an actual Chromecast. Watch the video above.