However, Avia Media Player (Chromecast) (free+) is at least one app not on the list. Avia is now on the list.
Avia boasts that the app “lets you play, manage and share all your personal media. You get seamless access to photos, videos and music from social media sites, your home network, and your device’s local storage.”
That sounds great!
Avia is fairly easy to use and works decent as a method for sending pictures, music, and videos from your Android device.
During my tests, I was able to broadcast some pictures from Oklahoma’s “Snowmageddon 2013,” and even showed off my first auto awesome movie to The Droid Tots. Admittedly, I loved seeing some of my photos streaming our big screen.
The good, the bad, and some of the ugly
Avia is very — that might be stretching it — good at getting most folks to the point of media sharing. Plex is a similar app that’s now offering streaming personal media, but Avia doesn’t require a media server (free) to play media. Of course, without the streaming server you’re limited to playing only the media on your device.
Avia does offer the ability to sync your device with Dropbox, Picasa, and Facebook, in addition to any local folders.
In my opinion, Facebook and Picasa are worthless, but the connection to Dropbox is very useful. I’d like to see the developers add support for Drive and Google+ Photos (where I backup my videos and images) — note: if you’re going to stream from Dropbox, I’d download the media to your device to play.
Streaming over the internet and then playing to the device will affect overall playback.
During streaming and local playback I noticed a lot of annoying pauses, or sometimes the app would just close. I’d probably never use Avia to show a video to a jury or other group, but it works find for in-home use. I also think my poor performance was related to technical issues like the file format — Avia/Chromecast recommends 720p streaming; I was sending out 1080p — and not so much the Avia app.
Avia’s easy enough to use, and features a file viewer system similar to ASTRO. I noticed that sometimes as I clicked on a box, I couldn’t move forward. I found the trick is to click the actual typed portion.
You might also find an issue where media doesn’t appear in the available file list. Simply click “refresh” from the menu to pull the files in.
Finally, and perhaps the most annoying aspect, was the seemingly difficult way to find files. Sometimes, when I clicked a particular folder I had to search through all of my pictures, rather than just the ones I was worried about. In this case, I found the best solution was to limit the date rather than leaving the experience unrestricted.
So what’s the result?
Overall, I’m excited about Avia and similar apps, because these apps fill in a necessary hole in Chromecast. Hopefully, we’ll see more Chromecast-ready apps, and eventually, the ability to mirror the tablet.
I’m giving Avia 3.5 stars. Check out this post for purchasing Chromecast.