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Free and legal apps for streaming TV and movies on Android

You don't have to pay for a cable or streaming subscription to get great TV shows and movies on your Android smartphone. Don't believe me? We've put together a list of apps which will let you stream all kinds of content legally and for free in the US. Check it out!

Hulu

Hulu lets users watch premium TV shows and movies on their smartphones or tablets without paying a subscription fee. It's packed with current and classic shows, Hulu originals, movies and plenty of kids' shows, making it a perfect family tablet companion.

If you want full access to the Hulu library you will need to pay $7.99 a month with limited commercials and $11.99 without commercials, but there are plenty of gems in the free version too. If you're willing to be patient then you'll be able to find some great shows for free.

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Hulu offers a free and paid service for online video and movie streaming to Android users. / © Hulu

Crackle

Crackle is a popular free app, 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, the trade-off for which is that you get an excellent selection of media and an app that functions far better than some of the other TV service ports on the list.

Crackle, like Netflix or Amazon, has picked up some original content that's getting more popular. The most famous of these is 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' starring Jerry Seinfeld. It's on it's eighth season and has featured some major guests like Will Ferrell, Ricky Gervais and Barack Obama.

CBS

With the CBS app, you can stream as much as you want without having to verify your cable TV subscription credentials. It comes with episodes of shows like The Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, Elementary, The Good Wife and Two and a Half Men, plus late night hits like The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. 

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Watch hits like The Big Bang Theory on the CBS app. / © CBS

The CW Network

With shows like America's Next Top Model, Arrow, Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries, the CW doesn't disappoint with fun content. You don't have to verify your cable TV subscription credentials, but you do have to sit through ads. All in all, this is a good app (if you like the content) that runs smoothly.

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The CW Network has a super line-up of shows. / © The CW Network

History

The History Channel's app offers some fun reality shows like American Pickers, Gangland, Mountain Men, Ice Road Trucker and old episodes of Top Gear (which recently moved to Amazon Prime under the name The Grand Tour). The History app allows you to search shows by topic, like WWII or Ancient History, which is a neat feature. The only downside is that there are several ads shown per episode. 

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History has all your favorite reality shows and informative programs. / © A&E Television Networks

SPB TV

The Android SPB TV app is not region-specific and offers content from around the world via a selection of weird and wonderful stations. From the NASA channel to Comedy for Women, this app gives you a pretty healthy mix of content. 

You won't find the latest Hollywood blockbuster, NBC or Showtime on SPB TV, but if you want to take a chance on a wild card, this is the app to use. 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).

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The SPB TV app features a number of international and independent TV stations. / © AndroidPIT

Crunchyroll

Another excellent Anime streaming app is Crunchyroll. And this one is available through Google Play. It has a huge selection of the best anime available for free. The app is quite popular, with over ten million downloads and has gotten a decent rating.

Running the app is quite simple. Just browse through your favorite shows and they will run with subtitles. The default is English so you won't have to mess with the language settings. You'll have to watch some advertisements but mostly for the premium service it offers. Basically, you can pay $4.99 so you won't have to watch Crunchyroll advertisements.

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Plenty of free anime with the Crunchyroll app. / © AndroidPIT

Those are just a few suggestions for how to stream free movies and TV shows on your smartphone. If you tried any of these apps, what did you think of them? Are there any of your favorite apps we've left off this list? Share them with us in the comments.

This article has been rewritten since first publication. Comments below may not reflect current content.

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  • Unfortunately most of these are unavailable in Australia


  • Users in developed economies should check the local public library for increasingly good video (as well as ebook, audiobook and music) services on their taxpayer's dime, no fees. College and university students and staff should also look into what their schools make available, which can go far beyond purely educational into vintage, foreign and art film. In Toronto, a public library card entitles citizens to Kanopy and Hoopla which are both diverse and have thousands of titles. University students also get Criterion-on-Demand, with a couple of thousand classic movies. If a city library system or university fails to provide these services in the 21st Century, time to get on the barricades and demand them.


  • hi all newbie here the bestt app ive found for movies n tv series is Terrarium TV all new fims upto date box sets easy to run and stream via a streaming app id give it 9/19


  • D. L. 9 months ago Link to comment

    If you want great internet radio streaming, try "Radio Player by Audials" in the playstore. Free, no ads, and no request for donation even. Tons of features, but best, is recording, while listening or scheduled in background. It's unbelievable that more don't know about this gem. Great UI, exceptional performance, built in equalizer, etc,etc,etc. If you hate the ads on Play Music, or TuneIn, or others, then check this one out.


  • Sir
    I want to play DVD file on my Samsung Galaxy j2 but it's not running. Suggest me what to do ; is it any app to solve my problem. Please help me 8 have a lot hope with u


  • Thank’s Dude. This is really interesting and very useful


  • CW network I will try it and let you know


  • where can i find soap operas on my android box. TIA


  • Mobdro also a good apps to stream movies n shows, including sports


  • sometimes I think transferring via USB is better and faster


  • from these app i can download shows or not.


  • Showbox is not a legal streaming/download app, it's run by Russian gangs.

    Most of the apps mentioned above are USA only...


  • Once you figure out how to get useful streams you can do cool things like watch movies that are still playing in the cinemas.

    The program isn’t useless, but if it’s too technical for you then fine, move on. Don’t diss the program its very powerful.


    • yeah i am new to the android box and gosh for my age and brain can not seem to learn quickly enough all about it, lol


      • Don't worry... Just take things step by step and you'll learn new things every day. I'd get a notebook and notate anything that interests you or instructions on how to perform a task on your phone, etc. Notate apps that seem interesting to you as you come across them so you can take your time to learn about them. You're never too old to learn something new!


  • Terrarium is good for TV shows and movies


  • Dane Oct 30, 2016 Link to comment

    I can't believe you left out Show Box


  • I guess I am behind the times, but I have limited data on my internet wifi. Don't these programs need data from either phone or internet to use>

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