Nexus Q New Life as a Chromecast/Cheapcast [Updated 2013-08-15]

So… like many others I picked up a couple Nexus Q’s off eBay and used them with Google Play Music. That is until Google launched their All-Access Google Music service. That update to the Google Play Music app broke the music capability of the Nexus Q.


There have only been a couple options to those of us with the Q.

The first option is obviously to just deal with it and use the YouTube functionality and whatever else may still be functioning.

Second, sell them on eBay and get rid of them.

Third, Mod them with or some other compatible rom.


Well… As luck would have it, there is now another option to give your dusty Q new life. You can now bring new life to your Nexus Q and it doesn’t even require rooting!

Cheapcast Google Play Store Link:Thanks to the new Cheapcast android app, you can now turn almost any Android device into a makeshift Chromecast device. Even better if your Android device has an audio or video out capability!

This is the link to the post where I found the very simple instructions to setup ones Nexus Q and install Cheapcast on it:

I’ll describe the process here in case the link goes away. (p.s. I’m doing this on Windows 8)

Make sure you have the Android SDK. Download it here:

Next, ensure you have the Google device drivers installed. You can find info on that here:

Now you should be able to plug in your Nexus Q to both power and a usb connection to your machine. Windows should recognize it. Go ahead and let the Q boot up fully.

[Updated 2013-08-15]

I forgot to add this following note. You need to have your Q in USB debug mode. To do this you use the Nexus Q app on a compatible Android device. The one step a lot of people miss at first, including myself, is that you also have to have your Android phone/device running the Nexus Q app in developer/debug mode as well or the option to enable it on the Q is not visible. This url goes through the process.

Next, from a windows command prompt. Navigate to your android sdk installation and go into the sdk/platform-tools folder. Mine is in C:adtsdkplatform-tools.

C:>cd adtsdkplatform-tools
C:adtsdkplatform-tools>adb devices
List of devices attached
AW1S12241809    device

You should see a device as listed above.

Next you will need a copy of the Cheapcast apk to install. A modified version was made that has the service mode enabled by default. This allows you to reboot your Nexus Q and not have to connect it to your PC every time to re-launch the Cheapcast service.

You can find the downloads here:

To install the app do the following from the command line:

C:>adb install CheapCast_v3_Q.apk

This installs the modified Cheapcast APK onto the Q.

C:>adb shell

Next you launch the android shell to run a command on the Q.


The shell prompt will look like the above. Similar to having a C:> prompt on windows.

am startservice at.maui.cheapcast/.service.CheapCastService

The above command launches the Cheapcast service. You should now see the Cheapcast device in your cast list as shown below.


As you can see in the screenshot above… Youtube will actually show both the Nexus Q as itself and also list the CheapCast service as well.  And both work well still and you can switch back and forth.

I hope this helps others out there trying to figure out what to do with their old Nexus Q’s. If you feel that the Cheapcast was really worthy of some support, go on over to the XDA forums as they were raising a bounty to get Chromecast support on the Q.

And again… here is the link to the original instructions where I found this process.