Quibi video service for smartphones adds Chromecast support

Quibi, the short-form video service with an uncertain future, has introduced Chromecast support in its mobile app. The new feature will enable subscribers to ditch their phones and watch the short episodes on their TV instead, something that is arguably vital in light of the pandemic lockdowns.

After months of hype, short-form video streaming service Quibi launched in early April...the same time many places were shutting down their movie theaters and ordering people to stay home. The timing was unfortunate as Quibi is designed for mobile use — it's the kind of thing that offers bite-sized videos that you watch while on the train, waiting in a lobby, and other places where longer videos are impractical.

It's no surprise that Quibi launched without TV apps or any way to play the content on a television — it was, after all, designed specifically for phones. Subscribers stuck at home were quick to ask for a way to watch the content on their big screen, prompting the company to state that it was planning a casting feature that would arrive soon.

Around two months later, that feature is finally available. Quibi users now have the option of casting content from their smartphone to a Chromecast, a fair compromise between only offering a mobile app and taking the bigger step of releasing proper TV apps. The Chromecast support joins recently added AirPlay support for Apple users.

The Chromecast support appears to only be live on the iPhone at this time, but it is expected that the Android app will soon be updated with casting support, as well. Though the company managed to rake in nearly two million downloads during its first week — something no doubt spurred by the free trial period — it hasn't yet taken off in a significant way; whether casting support will help is yet to be seen.