The Top Android Apps For Movie Lovers

May 30, 2011
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Nothing stirs up my inner Ebert more than a great movie app. If you’re like me, a movie experience is not just enjoying the actual film itself. It’s also everything around it: getting to know the full cast, finding chatter about it online, digging deep to how it was made. What we’ll talk about here are the top movie-related apps you can put in your Honeycomb Tablet. We won’t stop with video players and movie streaming apps; we’ll also tackle informative apps that help you enjoy the show better.

So sit back and grab some popcorn, it’s movie app time!

1. Netflix (free, streaming: US only)

Now that you can enjoy your Netflix movies and shows on your trusty ‘droid, you can watch all your favorite movies wherever you go. Officially, it only runs on a few devices but the ever-so crafty folks at XDA took care of that.

On top of watching over the air, you also get to manage your Netflix queue so you can boot out that B-movie you added when you were bored in favor of that new blockbuster that came out last summer. One thing though: you will need to be in the US and have a Netflix account for this to work though.

2. IMDb Movies & TV (free)

Sometimes you get stumped with the often asked question: “Where did I see this guy before again?” It’s during these times that IMDb comes in handy. Their mobile site works fine but you really need to download the app for a better experience.

It’s also helpful for tracking showtimes at the local cinema, checking out gossip and trivia about your favorite shows and movie stars, and for watching trailer to upcoming films. The app also lets you buy movies from Amazon right inside it, if you feel the need to add it to your collection. This definitely is a must download for every movie buff.

3. VLC Direct Pro ($2.86)

If you’ve ever been stumped by a video not playing back, VLC media player is always there to the rescue. On your computer, this free app plays back almost every known video format known to man and on top of that, the latest version allows you to stream videos to other devices as well.

If you have an extensive home video library, just install VLC Direct Pro to enjoy films (and music) anywhere in your house through your Android device. And if you have videos on your phone or tablet, the reverse also works: you can watch those videos on your PC via VLC. It’s a remote as well for those times you want to hook up the computer to the big screen.

Check out the simple configuration how to here and download the free version first to test it out with your setup. It’s a simple solution for watching your collection on your small screens.

4. Movie Collection (free, ad-less version for $2.99)

Despite all the video streaming we have these days, it’s still nice to have your own DVD library of your favorite films at home. To help you manage your collection, enter Movie Collection; its name says it all. Adding items to your collection is easy since it can DVD and Blu-ray barcodes with your phone’s camera, looking up all the important data online. It’s also a good way to keep track of loaned discs, how many times you’ve watched your favorite films and a quick way to get movie reviews. It even makes backups of your list so you can just import it when you get a new phone.

5. GetGlue (free)

Checking-in is what all the cool kids are doing, and with this app you can even check-in to your favorite movies. Share the movie you are currently watching to Twitter and Facebook, and you can also add your own thoughts to send with it.

In exchange of letting the world know about the movie you are watching at the moment, it also hands out free stickers to some check-ins like during the opening week of a movie. Get enough of these and you can request for a set of real stickers to stamp on your car, laptop and anywhere else. It also allows you to check into other types of entertainment like TV shows, video games, and music you are currently enjoying.

6. RunPee (free)

It happens every time – you miss a crucial fight scene, a twist in the story or a great drama sequence because your bladder couldn’t take it any more. Well, that’s a thing of the past with RunPee around. Just download this app and get the skinny on when you can hit the restrooms during opening weekend. It tells you when you can sneak out as well as what happens in between, if you’re interested in checking out what you missed. Of course, it has to have a built-in alert system to let you know when pee time is imminent.

The Android app was pulled out of Market for now, but watch out for it to come back soon. In the meanwhile, you’ll have to be content with visiting m.runpee.com on your Android device for now. Or, you could pee before taking your seat. Just saying.

7. Today in Movie History ($0.99)

I love trivia as much as the next guy, movie trivia too. If you want to expand your already copious knowledge, get this app which should be great for breaking the ice during movie socials or simply for your own enjoyment. It includes everything from celebrity births and deaths, movie releases and important events in movie history. You can even share the fun through Twitter, Facebook, SMS and more.

8. RockPlayer Lite (free)

Finally, let’s round up the list with a video player. Android, oddly enough, doesn’t really play video files that well. The stock player only recognizes a handful of video types so if you want a straightforward way to play your videos, you need another app for that.

Based on what I’ve found, RockPlayer Lite is your best alternative. Just copy your movies to your SD card and play them using RockPlayer, easy peasy. I’ve tested this on a lower-end Android and it seems to work fine. There are other alternatives out there but this was the most satisfactory of the bunch, not stellar mind you but at least it does the job it’s supposed to do. Here’s hoping VLC itself graces the Market soon.

Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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