Let’s face it, no one has time to sit down to watch a show when it actually airs or head to the theater to catch the latest summer blockbuster. The best way to catch up on your favorite shows is while you’re on the go. Whether you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or enjoying a day in the park, you can watch anything all in the palm of your hand with these five free apps. While the apps are all free, you might need a subscription to view the content, but we will note the specifics under each app.
If you don’t know what Netflix is, this is the first time you’ve gotten on the internet. It started out as a service where people could order DVD rentals online and have them delivered, but in the last few years has turned into a streaming powerhouse. Pay $7 a month to access thousands of movies or shows right from your phone, with your membership you’ll have access to the free app for phone or tablet, unlimited hours of watching each month and complete seasons of Netflix originals including Orange is the New Black. If you love TV, Netflix is an incredibly easy way to binge while on the move. You can see what you’ve already viewed, rate your favorites and then the app will generate suggestions.
The one thing Netflix can’t do is stream current seasons of shows, so if you want to catch up on the newest Modern Family, you have to wait until they add it. That is where Hulu comes in, it takes the new shows from networks like ABC, NBC and FOX and puts them online the day after they air. Hulu does have some free content but if you want access to archives of shows or certain episodes sign up for Hulu Plus at $8 a month. Hulu does have a few movies, and while most aren’t the most popular titles, the app does contain access to the Criterion Collection, which boasts important classic and contemporary films.
YouTube is Google’s free streaming video service, and yes it doesn’t technically have traditional television shows but there is plenty of content to keep you entertained for years. Sometimes you don’t have time for an entire 45 min episode of CSI, but you can sit down for a 15 minute prank video. The creator community on YouTube has grown substantially in the last few years and that has not only filled the site with millions of hours of content but also better produced content. You can find something with a narrative arc if that is what you’re looking for, or just watch someone put on makeup.
Crackle was created as a place for content for men, so explosions, farts and cars. Since it’s inception it has turned into a good place to find a movie or maybe even original content for free. Until June 24, 2015 it is the only streaming site that legally has every season of Seinfeld. The movies are switched out often, so there’s always new content to enjoy, and the best part is everything is free. You don’t need to pay monthly to watch Step Brothers and Anaconda as many times as you like. It even has original programming from Seinfeld himself called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, where he picks up comedians and drives around with them. It is more interesting than it sounds, and all free.
HBO has been killing it lately with shows like Game of Thrones, True Detective and Silicon Valley. If you’re not watching HBO Sunday entertainment, you’re missing out. It’s not always easy to get access to premium channels but the CEO of HBO has made it more accessible for anyone with an internet connection to join. The company has two apps. The first is called HBO Go, and you can only access it if you have a subscription to the channel through you cable provider, or if you’re like millions of college students and have access to your mom’s log in information. The CEO said that he doesn’t care if you share passwords because he knows it’s going to happen anyway, you might as well be safe about it. The other app was just recently released and it is called HBO Now. Anyone can pay $15 a month and have access to all the shows and movies without actually having cable. You can’t get HBO Now for Android yet but it is in the works.