Plex App Gains Improved Chromecast Support, On-The-Fly Transcoding

Yesterday Plex announced a new update was coming soon to the Android app (as well as other Plex platform apps) which looks to improve the Chromecast experience. Now Plex has confirmed the “coming soon” app update is already about to hit devices, arriving in the form of version 6.15. With this being an app update, however, not all recipients are expected to receive it at the same time and therefore it may take a few days to arrive on any one particular device.

While the headline feature of the app update is the improved Chromecast experience, Plex does note this app update is actually more akin to a new app as it effectively sees the Plex Android mobile app built from the ground up. So this is not just a matter of a couple of new features but a major design overhaul, overall. Plex also explains how this redesign will have additional behind-the-scenes benefits as it will allow the developers to more easily integrate new features in the future. This is in addition to much wider Chromecast device support, including those audio devices that are more limited in processing power. In short, Plex is modernizing its app in every respect.

As to be expected with Chromecast support, users are able to “fling” content from their smartphone to a Chromecast-enabled TV. While this is a not a new feature in the Plex world, what is new is the ability to fling content that before was not in a supported format already. As Plex has now confirmed its Android app now includes on-the-fly transcoding. In other words, regardless of the video or audio file format, Plex for Android will now be able to convert the file and Cast the content without the user having to do anything other than hit the Cast icon in the app. Essentially, significantly widening the selection of videos a user can now Cast to an enabled device. This also includes content that is stored locally on a device, as this was something that in spite of the previous Chromecast support was not possible with earlier versions of the app. Other listed changes include better NVIDIA SHIELD HEVC support, better subtitles, better display resolution and aspect ratio support.

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John Anon

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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]
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