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How to watch movies and TV shows for free on Android

Authored by: Scott Adam Gordon — 4 months ago

Have you ever wondered if it were possible for you to watch movies and TV shows without having to pay for Netflix or any other kind of streaming service? We have, and now we've found a way to do it too. Just sit tight and keep on reading, we'll show you some great apps for how to watch movies on android for free.

serie tv
You can now watch your favorite how to watch movies on android for free / © shutterstock

A note on Popcorn Time

You may have heard of Popcorn Time, a Netflix-like app with an even bigger selection of more current movies and TV show, but sadly we cannot sanction the use of this app. Popcorn Time is illegal folks: try out some of the other options below instead.  

U.S.

Hulu

It was only in recent months that Hulu brought its streaming service to Android, which lets users watch premium TV shows and movies on their smartphones or tablets without paying a subscription fee. Hulu comes packed with current and classic TV shows, Hulu originals, movies and plenty of Kids shows, making it a perfect family tablet companion. Of course, if you want full access to the Hulu library you will need to pay a 7.99 USD monthly fee, but there are plenty of gems to find in the free version too!

androidpit hulu tv app
Hulu offers a free and paid service for online video and movie streaming to Android users. / © Hulu
Hulu Install on Google Play

Canada / U.S.

Crackle

Crackle is a hugely popular free app available in the US and Canada which is updated monthly with new TV shows and movies. Created by Grouper but later bought by Sony, the app features ads which run at regular intervals throughout the content, but as a compromise you get an excellent selection of media and an app which functions far better than some of the other TV service ports on the list. Watch Seinfeld or Talladega Nights again, for sure.

androidpit crackle app
Crackle offers Android users a bunch of modern and classic hollywood movies, for free! / © Crackle
Crackle - Movies & TV Install on Google Play

UK

iPlayer

This catch up service has been going strong for a number of years now and the slick Android app is a great way to watch TV series and movies. It doesn’t have a whole list of archived TV shows and series to sift through, but the catch up service has recently been extended to 30 days, meaning you have a month to catch up on almost anything recently played on any BBC channel. With some excellent programs like Sherlock and Call the Midwife, iPlayer is one of the best free TV services currently available on Android.

androidpit bbc iplayer
The BBC is home to many much-loved British shows like Dr Who and The Apprentice. / © BBC
BBC iPlayer Install on Google Play

ITV Player

The ITV Player app suffered a woefully bad introduction to the Play Store with it being essentially broken on many devices. It’s been turning a bit of a corner with recent updates, but it still has a long way to go. The ITV Player app let’s you stream ITV channels live to your device, as well as catch up on any shows you may have missed from the past week.

androidpit itv player
The ITV Player app has had its problems but seems to be improving with recent updates. / © ITV
ITV Player Install on Google Play

4oD

Another app which has struggled with its launch is 4oD. While supplying a fantastic back catalogue of TV shows, and being a firm favorite among many Windows/Mac/console owners, the smartphone experience has been somewhat lacking. Hopefully this will only get better with future updates, as the amount and quality of full series they offer for free is fantastic. All you Peep Show fans owe it to yourself to install it.

androidpit 4od
The 4oD app includes TV shows from Channels such as E4, More4, and 4Music.  / © Channel 4
All 4 Install on Google Play

Demand 5

Don’t forget that Channel Five’s premier catch-up service Demand 5 is also now available on Android. The updates aren’t as regular as we would like, but nonetheless Demand 5 offers a wide selection of Channel 5 shows and archived programmes to re-watch on your Android smartphone or tablet. The programming quality is arguably lower than the standard offered by Channel 4 and the BBC, although it provides a viable free alternative.

androidpit demand five
Demand 5 features a number of archived series and current TV shows to browse. / © Channel Five
Demand 5 Install on Google Play

Worldwide

SPB TV

The Android SPB TV app is not necessarily region specific, offering content from around the world via a selection of weird and wonderful stations. It’s not the kind of app you will use to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster, and you won’t find NBC or Showtime on there, but if you want to take a chance on a wild card then this is it. Be warned, however, a few of the stations definitely appear to be of a more adult nature.

androidpit spb tv app
The SPB TV app features a number of international and independent TV stations. / © SPB TV AG
SPB TV Install on Google Play

LiveNow!TV

LiveNow!TV offers a broad range of channels from around the world to stream live, as well as a variety of classic/B movies. The movies available are mostly a mix of bizarre horror and Kung Fu movies; LiveNow!TV is a free service supported by ads and of course it doesn't have the same clout as something like Netflix or even Hulu. However, the streaming of live TV worked surprisingly well, and I don't exactly understand how something like this is available when the likes of Popcorn Time and Show Box are banned. Still, for now, it's a great option for streaming a number of well-known channels. 

androidpit livenow tv
For a free app, the number and quality of the live-streaming channels available in LiveNow!TV is impressive. / © Live Now!

Those are just a few suggestions for finding TV shows and movies on your smartphone. Do you know any others?

Originally from the UK, Scott graduated in Popular Music Studies at Newcastle University and attributes most of his success there to his beloved Samsung Galaxy S2. A lifelong Android fan, Scott has never owned an Apple device, of any kind, and doesn't see this changing anytime soon.

66 comments

Write new comment:
  • Jerone Alimpia 1 week ago Link to comment

    for me I choose movies4android.com for downloading free mobile movies! and it is easy to download because less ads and the file size is already compressed and compatible to play with your smartphone movie player…

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  • job steve 1 week ago Link to comment

    Showbox videos are hosted on Russian website VK.me , So when you watch a video you are directly connected to VK.me servers through HTTP protocol .

    With HTTP a file is presented in a single stream by the HTTP server. The transfer is then typically done the fastest way the remote server, the network and the client manage. After the initial "request", HTTP reaches max speed pretty quickly. A typical such transfer is limited by the narrowest network condition along the way, or by the server being overloaded by requests from many clients. Some network operators do funny things, so a client can actually get higher transfer performance by connecting multiple times and transferring parts of the data in several simultaneous connections.
    Popcorntime depends on bit torrent protocol to get content

    Bittorrent on the other hand requests "random" parts of the file from N number of peers and it can typically download several parts at once from different sources. A client will also soon start to hand out parts of the file that it has already downloaded, to other peers that want to download that same file. Bittorrent downloads tend to start slow, and increase in speed during the transfer and slow down again towards the end when it only gets a few remaining pieces to get.
    That's why Showbox videos are loading faster than PCT , although I don't think that showbox Movies and shows have a "great quality" since they are using Web-rips unlike PCT's Blueray rips.

    For me , I don't recommend anyone to download Showbox , beacuse I know nothing about people behind it.
    Forget to mention that they have a "precise location " permission on their app. www.bhenet.com/2015/02/showbox-app-android.html

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    • bryancarter 2 days ago Link to comment

      Watch free movies online in Los Movies
      A lot VK links, 3d movies, hd movies and mobile interface (you can play movies on iPad)

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  • Jack Vand 1 week ago Link to comment

    Try out my app "Classic UHF". It's olde gold movies and TV, it's free and it works on your phone or tablet (and Chromecast). I was trying to be the poor mans Netflix ;)

    Google up "Classic UHF" in the Play Store or your browser and you'll find the link for the app.

    Happy Movies.

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  • adele kramer 1 month ago Link to comment

    Thanks for the article Adam. Netflix app or Hulu, or BBC, etc is great on Android. If live outside USA, you can use tools like UnoTelly to get Netflix or Hulu, or BBC on your Android.

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  • rangers5627 1 month ago Link to comment

    can anybody tell me how I can stream free TV sporting events mainly hockey. Thanks

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  • yassm 1 month ago Link to comment

    Great list there is a cool site too STAMLI.COM

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  • Amanda Wright 2 months ago Link to comment

    Tvmc, showbox, HD cinema, play box are all very good you need to download apk file and afdah is a brilliant website.

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  • Rob Thompson 3 months ago Link to comment

    Kodi.tv/xbmc is the best for free TV on computer or Android..

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  • gabriel 3 months ago Link to comment

    Best one is showbox
    give a try and let me know

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  • casper johnston 4 months ago Link to comment

    all these are crap none work properly in the uk and keep cutting off im in a very god area fpr wifi and 3/4g in uk these uk ones are awful and a waste of phone space use the showbox or tv portal or VideoMix apps theyre much better and work quicker

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  • Asad Ali 4 months ago Link to comment

    TV Portal & Showbox are best.

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  • Clade 5 months ago Link to comment

    Why don't you add Yle Areena and Katsomo for Finnish users?
    Most of the ones above are US, UK & Canada exclusive.

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  • Haytham Adel 5 months ago Link to comment

    try this one TV Portal its bande from the play store but you can get it from there page on Facebook or G+ most of the movie and shows are updated and support chrome cast and its free no in app purchases how

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  • Mo Tube 6 months ago Link to comment

    Hey, have you tried our app? We're up there with Crackle and Netflix. Search for "MoTube" in the Play store and you'll find us quickly. :)

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  • Dianne Cabellon 6 months ago Link to comment

    Hello there! Anyone could help me where and how to download showbox downloader? I really want it badly..Thank you in advance! :)

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    • rosemarie charalambous 6 months ago Link to comment

      On an android o/s I. E smartphone /tablet first download mobogenie and once downloaded find the app "showbox" and start watching movi3s and TV shows

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  • Kevin G. 6 months ago Link to comment

    Showbox is the best for movies + tv box sets - tvcatchup is OK for Live freeview tv, the catch-up tv apps are ok. I find pre downloading shows via wifi then they are available to watch anytime.

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  • Nao Els 7 months ago Link to comment

    every body you can watch noww all your favorite movies at viooz.tv thats free enjoy it 

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  • Carl E. 7 months ago Link to comment

    Showbox all the way............The .apk is now a bit harder to find. used to be an easy "G" search, but now you have to did just a bit to find the .apk file. When you first load/run it, it can/may take a few minutes to screen up as it's loading the database.

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