Movie and TV streaming apps for Android can be a difficult thing to judge. There are just so many variables to consider. Some apps aren’t compatible with some devices. The quality of the streaming is hugely affected by the speed of your internet connection. Does a lack of new content lower the value of a streaming service? These are all questions we’ll be answering below as we check out some of the best movie and tv streaming apps for Android. As always, if you’d rather watch than read, we’ve posted a video at the bottom.
Movies by Flixster
First on our list is Movies by Flixster. This movie and tv streaming app first appeared on Android as an information app. You could find nearby theaters, movie show times, and information on newer movies. It was kind of like IMDb in that way. However, it has transformed into an information service and an app that is capable of streaming movies. It actually does a fairly decent job of it once you get movies on there.
The only caveat is that you have to purchase movies through Ultraviolet. This isn’t a bad thing on the face of it, but going through the process of signing up can take a long time. So it isn’t like other Movie and TV streaming apps where you enter a quick username and password, pay for the service, then go. It’s annoying to be sure, but once the annoying part is done, the experience gets a lot better. As per the norm for all the apps on this list, there are some devices that Flixster won’t work on, but Flixster also gives you a free movie when you sign up so it’s really easy to test it without spending any money.
Next up is HBO GO. Unlike most of the movie and TV streaming apps for Android, HBO GO is focused around just one channel. That is, of course, HBO. Using HBO GO requires that you have a cable or satellite service that already has HBO available. This means that you can’t just download the app, pay for it, then get HBO GO wherever. This is strictly for people who already have HBO and want to view it on other devices besides their televisions. Aside from that little problem, the app is actually really nice.
Once you get signed into HBO GO, the interface is simple and modern. You have a choice to watch literally anything being aired on HBO. So there are shows like the Sopranos and Game of Thones, the latest comedy stylings of comedians like Louis CK, movies, and even some sporting events. If you’re a fan of HBO programming, this is a movie and TV streaming app you cannot miss out on. Hat tip goes out to Android Authority feature writer Nate Swanner for allowing me to borrow his HBO GO account (and his Netflix account) so I could review this properly.
Google Play TV and Movies
When it comes to movie and TV streaming, it’d be downright negligent to not talk about a resource that everyone already has access to. That resource is the Google Play Store. You can buy or rent both movies and TV shows via the Google Play Store and play them using the Google Play TV and Movies app. Also, if you’re on a computer, the YouTube desktop website also gives you access to content you buy or rent so you can watch it there if you want to.
During our testing, this was one of the smoothest working movie and TV streaming apps. It played Ice Age and Transformers without a problem. The only issue is that this app took 4 hours to review because I got side tracked watching Ice Age and Transformers. Just like purchasing an app, the Play Store keeps track of purchases so you can easily move to a new device and still have access to the same content. It doesn’t have that finality of a pay-once-per-month and watch whatever feeling that apps like Netflix have, but it’s still a great way to stream movies and TV.
It should be no surprise that Netflix appears on this list. It’s not only among the most trusted movie and TV streaming services out there, but it’s also one of the highest rated and most popular as well. People have been using Netflix long before it was available on Android via their computers or other devices. It’s a very simple system as well. You pay less than $10 a month and you can stream an infinite amount of Netflix content. It also helps that their content is plentiful.
The only issue with Netflix is that new content takes awhile to get released. Thankfully, there thousands of other movies and TV shows that you can watch in the meantime. The app itself is prone to the same issues as are these other services. Some Android devices aren’t compatible and it obviously won’t work well if your internet is terrible. So, issues aside, this is definitely among the best movie and TV streaming apps for Android.
US TV and Radio
Perhaps our most surprising member of the movie and TV streaming apps list is US TV and Radio. This very simple app streams United States TV and radio stations free of charge. That means the app is free and the service is free. It doesn’t have the professional layout of many of these movie and TV streaming apps and it certainly doesn’t have all the options, but most of the content actually works.
One of the biggest problems is we experience a number of errors stating that a TV station feed is offline. This will most often happen when a station has multiple feeds and you just need to find the one that’s online. Another potential problem is that TV stations can request that their content be taken off of the app’s list. So one day you may find your favorite station gone. For the time being, there are a lot of TV stations available to stream from and most of them work most of the time. Since this is a totally free service, these issues are more than understandable and most won’t care about issues here and there.
Movie and TV Streaming apps for Android Wrap Up and Leaderboard
If you take a look at our leaderboard, you can see how these top apps stack up against one another. It seems like a thin list and it certainly is. Do keep in mind that while movie and TV streaming has become more mainstream, there are still only a few places that do it really well. It also helps to keep in mind that most of the good ones on computers, like Hulu, don’t have adequate Android offerings yet.
Our honorable mentions list is a little bit longer than usual because there are a lot of movie and TV streaming apps that didn’t quite make the cut. These include Hulu Plus, Mivo.TV, NHL Gamecenter, Jetflicks, YouTube, and VUDU. In most of these cases, they didn’t make it on the list because they had one or more unacceptable issues. For instance, Hulu Plus has a very short list of compatible Android devices. In other cases, the app is just too niche. NHL Gamecenter falls into this category. YouTube is a special instance. If the mobile app allowed you to watch your purchases from the Google Play Store like it does on the desktop website, then it would’ve been included above. However, it doesn’t, so at best it’s just a way to watch YouTube specific productions and web specials.
There are a lot of movie and TV streaming apps out there, so it’s definitely possible that we may have missed one or two. If we did, feel free to let us know in the comments below.