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How to stream movies and TV shows for free on Android

Authored by: Scott Adam Gordon — 4 months ago

The adage that best things in life are free has existed for a long time, but it's only now in the app era that it's begun reaching its full meaning. For example, there's a great number of apps which let you stream movies for free on Android. Here, we've painstakingly gathered the best of them for you.

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.  

Stream Movies In U.S.


The stand-alone app corresponding to arguably the greatest TV network on the planet has had a bit of a shaky start in life, with many users reporting that they've been having trouble starting it on launch day (at the time of writing, it also didn't work with rooted devices).

But if you can get it to work, then you gain access to the greatest TV catalogue in history (for $14.99 after a 30-day trial). Big-hitting shows include Game of Thrones, The Wire, True Detective, The Sopranos - for those alone, it's worth the gamble, right?

androidpit hbo now
Who cares if it was launched as a buggy mess? Just look at that line-up! / © HBO NOW

Download HBO NOW


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

Stream Movies In Canada / U.S.


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. 

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

Stream Movies In UK

BBC 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 huge archive to sift through, but the iPlayer catch-up service was extended to 30 days last year, meaning you have a month to catch up on almost anything played on the BBC in the past month.

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. But, after turning many corners, it's finally in a decent state. 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

All 4 (4oD)

The recently rebranded 'All 4' - formerly know as 4oD has a fantastic selection of shows, aimed at a slightly younger crowd than BBC iPlayer. Frustratingly, many users are still reporting crashing and inconsistent performance, but it's free and has some great content, so don't let that put you off. Featuring interesting experimental shows like Black Mirror and Utopia, as well as the inimitable British comedy, Peep Show, All 4 is the place to go for the best of British offbeat TV.

androidpit all4
The All 4 app includes TV shows from Channels such as E4, More4, and 4Music.  / © Channel 4
All 4 Install on Google Play

Demand 5

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 a bit of American Horror Story, or reality cop shows never goes amiss.

androidpit demand 5
Cop chases, Big Brother, and other guilty pleasures populate the Demand 5 app. / © Channel Five
Demand 5 Install on Google Play

Stream Movies Worldwide


The Android SPB TV app is not 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. A few of the stations definitely appear to be of a more adult nature (how you choose to use that information is up to you).

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


LiveNow!TV offers a broad range of channels from around the world to stream live, as well as a variety of classic/B-movies; mostly a bizarre but entertaining mix of 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 live TV streams work surprisingly well, and it remains a great option for streaming a number of well-known channels. 

androidpit livenowtv
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 how to stream free movies & TV shows on your smartphone. Do you know any others?

Updated by Robert Zak on July 17, 2015

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 dedicated Android fan, Scott has never owned an Apple device, of any kind, and doesn't see this changing anytime soon.

Readers' favorite comments


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  • Good info on how to stream via apps...but... We need info on options to input the streaming to our tv's,audio systems via the hardware to allow it.

  • Nice list. As well as your are rock. Thaks for sharing this.

  • Tsur H 1 month ago Link to comment

    In Europe and South America one can simply receive TV stations off the air. Also for Android with a gadget called 'Siano Meron' which basically turns the phone to a mobile TV with no need for an internet connection.

  • Is it possible to watch tv channels programs by interfacing the Smartphone device with Wireless external tv tuner device?.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Prashant S Akerkar

  • Mel 2 months ago Link to comment

    Great list! is also another awesome free movie streaming website and app that has thousands of movies and tv shows, and it's 100% legal... check it out.

    • Kevin L 2 months ago Link to comment

      Tubi TV actually has a ton of UK content, but it's funny, because I don't think they're available in the UK!

  • Good share. Thanks.

  • this one is cool streaming site free

  • download online movies and watch them on your Android freely

  • Ok guys I'm gonna be cool and let you all have a little secret treasure, which I probably shouldn't be doing because atm there is a lot of effort going into to shutting live streaming sites down. I know everyone rants about the "SHOW BOX" app, and "POPCORN TIME." But in all actuality, those apps are well under par. To avoid being a "technology pirate" we now watch live streamed movies: not illegal, saves memory, saves time, saves the HASSLE. But what most people don't know (which took me an exhaustive research Binge to find out,) is that there is 1.. yes ONE single site that will give you ALL the most up-to-date streaming sites. And for your commitment to the androtech community, I will now give it to you all FREELY. It's called : and just because I'm feeling extra generous this morning, I'll go ahead and give you 3 of the best sites to be found in the near 100 site long list. Yes I said 100 FREE STREAMING SITES. My top 3 are: , , and ... any one of those sites will offer TV, New release, movies by date, and even movies still in theaters with usually hd-1080p clarity. Oh by the way there's no sign-up or login, and everything is FREE!!! To top it off it usually takes less than 10 secs for the movie to start up with no lag, skipping, or poor quality. MY GIFT TO YOU! For working so hard to find the answers to the same things I thoroughly enjoy searching for myself :-). Enjoy, and like or comment back if this helped you.. thanks.

  • How is Kodi not on this list??

  • Mobdro of the best.

  • Download and install the Sky HD app to your Android device to stream and download movies and TV shows in HD for free. Sky HD is created by the same developers of HD Cinema and is a good alternative to ShowBox, PlayBox, Cartoon HD, or Popcorn Time. Sky HD works for Android 5.1 (Lollipop) and lower and supports Chromecast streaming - Just Click the "Click Here" on the webpage to download the APK direct - hxxp://

  • Joel wil 5 months ago Link to comment

    I downloaded portal tv. It said get mx player to play everything, so I did. I open the app click anything to watch but shows nothing. How does the portal tv app and the mx work together. Can someone help? Thanks

  • for me I choose 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…

  • job steve 6 months ago Link to comment

    Showbox videos are hosted on Russian website , So when you watch a video you are directly connected to 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.

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

  • Jack Vand 6 months 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.

  • 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.

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

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