The best video streaming apps and services for Android
Video streaming is a big deal. That old cable subscription is looking less and less like a good deal and there are now tons of ways to enjoy content online. Online streaming services also beat cable to 4K content, HDR content, and other future technologies. Here is our list of the best video streaming apps for Android. Please note that availability depends on the region. Some countries may not get some of these video streaming apps. We apologize if we recommend something that’s not available where you are.
The best video streaming apps and services for Android
Amazon Prime Video
Price: Free / $12.99 per month / $119.99 per year
Amazon Prime Video is Amazon’s video streaming service. It comes included with their Amazon Prime service. That means you get video stuff, 2-day shipping, some cloud storage, and music streaming stuff all in one. The service is above average and includes modern touches like HDR and 4K streaming. In addition, it gained Chromecast support in 2019, making it a must-have for video streaming apps. You can also add other content like HBO for additional fees if you want to.
Crackle and Tubi are the two best free video streaming apps out there. It features a variety of movies and TV shows. The app lets you sort and search by category and the streaming quality isn’t all that bad for its price tag. There are some pros and cons, though. The app does drain a bit more battery than its competitors and the app itself is a bit glitchy from time to time. Tubi, on the other hand, is a lot cleaner of an experience and it also offers completely free streaming. You can go with either one or both if you want to. Crackle is linked at the button below and Tubi is available on Google Play here.
Crunchyroll had a huge year in 2022. The company officially merged with VRV and Funimation, making it the single biggest (and now, only) anime streaming service in the Play Store. It has an exhaustive supply of anime in both subs and dubs. More gets added every season as more and more shows come out. As of 2022, Crunchyroll still lacks some of Funimation’s ongoing shows, but that should change sooner rather than later. If you’re an anime fan, this is an obvious recommendation. The free version is supported by ads, and we think it’s honestly worth the $9.99 per month to get rid of them. Additionally, the app works well, includes Chromecast support, and we actually really like Crunchylists.
Price: Free / $6.99 per month / $69.99 per year
Disney+ is Disney’s official streaming service. It has a ton of content, including most things from the Star Wars and MARVEL universes. Plus, it has The Simpsons, tons of kids shows, Disney movies, and more stuff. Disney ripped all of this content off of competing streaming services, a tactic we’re not fans of. However, with its backlog of content and its originals like The Mandalorian, there is a lot of content here for Disney fans. Additionally, you can get ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney+ for $12.99 which is, admittedly, the best deal in video streaming right now.
Hulu is one of the more diverse video streaming apps. It has the usual streaming experience with a bunch of old TV shows, movies, anime, and other stuff. It also offers live television for $39.99 per month. The $39.99 per month price also covers regular Hulu stuff. That kills two birds with one stone. Their selections are fairly diverse. The service also offers over 50 channels with an option to expand that for extra money. It should work for most people. It does come with a free trial as well as Chromecast support.
Movies Anywhere is one of the newer video streaming apps. It consolidates several movie services under one roof. It includes support for iTunes, Vudu, Google Play Movies, and Amazon Video. You simply sign into the services. Then you have access to all of your movies between them. This lets you shop movie sales or take advantage of special offers but manage your library all in one spot. There should be more apps like this. It also has Chromecast support. However, it does not have some unique features, like 4k movies from Google Play Movies. You still need the official apps for stuff like that.
Netflix is the most popular streaming service out there. It’s available in most countries, has a diverse range of titles, excellent original series content, and support for 4K, Chromecast, Miracast, most smart TVs and game consoles, HDR10, and Dolby Vision. That makes both excellent for regular stuff and forward-thinking. The prices vary, but the highest it goes is $19.99 per month with a little extra if you intend to share your password. Netflix isn’t the obvious recommendation it was years ago, but it’s still a solid option with some of the better original content.
Sling TV was one of the first live TV streaming apps. It features many of the basic features, like local sports channels, some popular news channels, and other stuff. The basic package is reasonably priced, the app supports Chromecast, and you more channels are available for a nominal fee. It’s the original live TV streaming service, and its a la carte channel selection is still unique in this space. In terms of performance, it’s really no better or worse than its competitors, so it’s just the features that make it better in our eyes.
Twitch is a video streaming service for gamers. There are several video streaming apps for gamers. However, Twitch is pretty much the best. You watch people play video games, live e-sports, and even some news coverage. Companies often make big announcements on Twitch and events like E3 get heavy Twitch streaming. There are subscription options for those who want it. YouTube Gaming Hub (part of the YouTube app) is also pretty good in this space. You can enjoy it either way.
YouTube and YouTube TV
Price: Free / $12.99-$40 per month
YouTube is quickly becoming a for-real streaming service. Its regular content is getting better all the time. Additionally, its YouTube Originals is entertaining for some people. It rounds out the experience with YouTube Gaming (a Twitch competitor) and YouTube Kids. It also has music videos, tutorial videos, and lots of other stuff. YouTube TV is the company stretching into the live TV arena. That service contains over 70 channels, the best cloud DVR of any live TV app, and, of course, Chromecast support. YouTube Music finished up the little family with a dedicated music streaming experience separate from the rest of YouTube’s stuff.
Networks have pulled a lot of their content off of larger streaming services like Netflix and Hulu in favor of starting their own streaming service. I personally believe this practice is deplorable since customers like us pay several times more for the same content, but that’s the world we live in now. Network streaming services like HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+, and others do have some benefits. You’ll usually get the latest episodes of popular TV shows as they air instead of a year later like they used to when they were on Netflix or Hulu. Additionally, everybody is rushing to create original content to do battle with each other, so new stuff is coming out all the time. None of the networks really stand out as amazing except for Disney+, so we grouped them all here.
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