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Free, legal TV and movie streaming apps on Android

Free, legal TV and movie streaming apps 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 $5.99 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 its 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. 

cbs
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.

cw
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. 

history
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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134 comments

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  • I think Mobdro is also the best online TV viewing application. Watch movies, sports news, quality music and free today. MobdroPlus.com is the leading provider of this application. Quickly install and experience the latest features.


  • Hi.
    Its a big lie. Its not free


  • Tubitv and snagfilms are good.


  • 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. Oct 24, 2017 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.


    • Ed Ray 5 months ago Link to comment

      In my opinion this ("Radio Player by Audials") is a lame app that has never lived up to its audio stream capture promises.

      Every new version claims it will capture live audio streams (meaning grab the stream instantly - non real time which is what most folks want/need) then it turns around and just gives you standard real time recording off your computers audio port meaning if the song takes 6 mins you have to sit there and record the full six minutes which any basic audio recording app does for FREE so why would I get this paid app to do the same?

      I tried three previous purchases and finally gave up when each promising version failed again to live up to their promise of true audio stream capture.

      I really have no faith they will ever get their app to do what they always promise since that part of their app never works. Believe me I spent hours if not days with their tech support with no true tangible response regarding true audio stream capture.


  • 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>


  • If you want to download shows and movies from Tubi TV , you can use Allavsoft ,it is very good


  • I've recently released Synctrix, which provides streaming of video/audio files to Android TV. Might be another good option, plus its free (synctrix.com).


    • Hi Saul, I just followed your link then downloaded from Googleplay. I haven't had time to work with your app as of yet, I've just signed in and connected to Google drive (Which went very smoothly) and got back to you.
      This fills a gap in the market perfectly, which I've been looking for sometime as I've uploaded hundreds of movies into Google drive but unfortunately unable to load up the movies poster's , and i'am struggling with putting TV seasons together and in order, also renaming some title's which just come with a reference number.
      From the quick look I gave your app, it appears to cover all these (so thank heaven's). I will get to know how it functions and leave you fair feedback, unlike unfortunately some have and don't know what it's for! I hope you make a paid one so people have the choice to get rid of the ads, and I hope you keep this up/in development as it serves a great purpose, and as more individuals come across it will appreciate it as an indispensable tool.
      Can't wait to start reorganising the dreadful mess which I'm currently in, and have a ordered movie streaming platform of my own, great idea this app of yours, I hope it works out and you don't mind me reporting any bug's.
      All the best for New Year.


  • showbox is far good than any other app for movie streaming. try it: www.showboxappz.com


  • If the admin doesn't mind, i'd like to add tvrill.com to watch free tv shows for free online, it's 100% ad free. Check it out for yourself you won't be disappointed.


  • How good is the app moddro and is it recommended?


  • Ip Tv = cancer. Most channels don't stay up for a day


  • Is anyone play .swf flash online video streaming of IP camera?


  • Nice.


  • Good article


  • 4 powerful streaming apps are definitely missing on the list above, though 3 of them are not on playstore:

    1. Mobdro
    2. UK TV Now
    3. Showbox
    4. Kodi


  • great article, but another could be to stream content applications on TV?
    Thanks to all


  • Eric Jun 29, 2016 Link to comment

    there are just so many TV streaming services these days it can be difficult to find a reliable source this article is great for helping and all the comments as well with their favourites is the icing on the cake


  • If you want the best stand alone app for T.V and movies download showbox. If you want a multi media centre at the touch of a finger then download KODI. KODI runs alot of different add-ons like; live sport, live T.V from multiple countries, music, pictures. It can access just about anything. You can access youtube, shoebox, BBC iPlayer, ITV, ch4 etc. Its not hard to use and there is millions of you tube videos to help you.


  • Alex Apr 25, 2016 Link to comment

    I hope Popcorn Time gets legal!!


  • There is one more App, Popcornflix, legal & free, has a large database...!


  • 1. Showbox 2. Popcorntime 😊😊😊


  • Replaced 180816.


  • Lots of good information


  • ok got it


  • thanks for this 👌


  • Thanks a lot given me use full tips


  • what about crunchyroll ? it offer free streaming to some of its content , mostly anime though...


  • I'm trying to ask here about Showbox installation as I thought it would be quicker but I could have searched the net or YouTube by now & had a new version installed.
    The one I had installed was missing a few episodes from one of my fave shows & I'm finally fed up...


  • Nothing to compare whit showbox and videomix the best ones


  • Julie Dec 24, 2015 Link to comment

    I would love some of these channels but they are not available in the USA. :(


  • Informative and helpful.
    Unfortunately many apps do not work for Indian viewers.
    You can add History TV 18 a favourite channel for viewing many enjoyable programs.

    A. S. Bhasker Raj
    Bangalore
    India


  • Why has Kodi not been mentioned?


  • Great post, Adam. My favorite app for Android to stream movies is ShowBox. The HBO Now is also a good one, but doesn't have a good library as Show Box. I vote for Show Box :) You can download it from: downloadshowboxapp.com


  • 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 Oct 22, 2015 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 Sep 9, 2015 Link to comment

    Great list! TubiTV.com 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.


    • 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.


  • How is Kodi not on this list??


  • Mobdro app...one of the best.


  • 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


  • 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.


    • I'm seriously kevelling!! Can you REALLY get FREE TV/movies, etc. on your computer?!? If this is true, I'm putting on my ballet shoes and pirouetting around my sofa! Direct TV just did me dirty, and ONLY THIS AM, I was left w/no TV-which, if you know me, is NOT a good thing. Looking forward to trying some of your ideas! Too psyched!!


  • 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


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


  • Best one is showbox
    give a try and let me know


  • 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


    • I think everyone has said most work well in the US, and someone else asked about outside the US. Hang tight.


  • TV Portal & Showbox are best.


  • Clade Dec 18, 2014 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.


  • 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


  • 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. :)


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


  • I use Torrents via uTorrent! Or iTV for streaming, BTW iTV it is not available on Google Play anymore


  • i have one word for you all: PopcornTime..!


  • Lee Oct 14, 2014 Link to comment

    For Movies and TV Shows ShowBox 📺 👍😊


  • Can't access to developers website so what can I do


  • I cannot see the developer's website. When I click on the link it says page not found. Help!


  • Absolutely love this app!! I'd like to see a few more shows added but I'm certainly not complaining! The only other thing I wish were different is it holds tour place I'd you have to leave the screen. Kudos!!


  • It's not letting me download or even watch any films on my galaxy note three any ideas


  • I don't understand their business model, is this site legal guys?


    • Thanks, John. I was worried about the same. I live in a very small town. I'd hate to be fodder for the town gossip. LOL.


  • Movie2k.to is great too for watchinv movies and shows on.


  • already have it.its great


  • Dunno about Chromecast but sure it will. I use allcast premium and works great on dlna smart TV.


  • Not sure about Chromecast but sure you can. I use allcast premium to stream to smart TV. As long as you have dlna device it works a treat.


  • Graham Jul 31, 2014 Link to comment

    Can you cast the shows via chromecast from your smartphone to to Tv. if so how.


  • Hi, I would recommend an online movie and tv shows with Daily Update. No registrations, no sign-ups, no downloads, it support PS3, Ipad and Mobile devices.


  • It will not let me download it how come ?


  • Works great with Google Chromecast.


  • Jcp May 20, 2014 Link to comment

    I had the first HTC1 with this app on it and never had any problems. I just upgraded to the new HTC1 M8 and when I open the app it says "Connection error" "check your internet connection" I have full bars and 4g so I'm not sure what's going on. Please help, I really need to catch up on my shows!!


  • mint working pufect


  • I have the app running on my Asus Transformer tablet and a Rikomagic Mini PC which plugs direct into the HDMI port of my TV. Brilliant app


    • could you help I have a Asus TF101 cant seem to work it complaints about no internet connection, check your internet connection


  • I downloaded this app but it complains "Internet connection. Check your internet connection". I access the Internet using my Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 through my home WIFI via Time Warner Cable. I only have one bar on my wireless. I'm guessing that the app is trying to use wireless even though WIFI is available. Any help?


    • I have the exact same problem with the same phone. Everyone else I know that has a different phone has no problem. I have xfinity Internet with 4 bars wifi. This sucks!


  • Ed E. Mar 14, 2014 Link to comment

    Been using the app since reading this and love it.........transfer the movies to another folder and dont use the movie player in the app and works perfect.......Thanks


  •   2
    Deactivated Account Mar 14, 2014 Link to comment

    hi watch show box great it was as good as you said it was but, i used my galaxy 2 tablet no problems thank you John dan


  • I downloaded this yesterday and it is fabulous!! I have a Galaxy Note 3 and the movies are clear and the download it fast! Thank You so much!
    :-*


  • Perhaps try to clear the cache or use a different player for the videos or even try using the showbox player


  • Re free movies &TVs shows. Can watch trailers no prob but when try 2 watch anything it says unable 2 play video. What am I doing wrong? Help!


  • APP DOES NOT WORK AS OF 3/10/14


  • Was working great. I thought I finally found a site for downloading movies.
    Now ShoeBox DOES NOT WORK.
    THIS APP DOES NOTHING?????????


  • A brilliant app. I've downloaded this app to my very old HTC Desire HD, my Xperia Z tablet and a Tesco's Hudl. The app works well on all three. Downloads appear to more responsive if the cache is kept cleared. This also applies when some movies say video is not yet available, when I've already downloaded it on another unit. Clearing the cache improved overall performance. Great app, well done.


  • awesome Thank you


  • Awesome app, movies are crystal clear, audio is great. I downloaded 3 movies without any hiccups. Good looking out!!


  • Those having issues with video can't be played try using MX Player it installed a codec and I've never had any issues.


  • Doesn't work on HTC one, message says sorry the video can't be played. Also if you download one it never goes past 0%.


  • This app is awesome. I can download movies and shows to my tablet and then transfer them to a USB drive to play on my TV.


  • but still using internet. 1 movie already whoops your 1g or below.


  • Working fine. .💺📡


  • @ Neil not sure what's up. I tried it on my phone though. Have you tried downloading it on your phone?


  • you're welcome


  • This is probably the best app I have downloaded. Entertained me on the journey home from London to Glasgow. Highly recomend. Have installed it on my g-pad and my g2 and it works really well. Love it.


  • Cannot get the app to download on galaxy tab 2.70 , why not!! Any ideas anyone.


  • Thank you AndroidPIT for this info! It's an amazing can't believe it app!
    Cheers


  • Every time I try to watch a movie I downloaded from the site it shuts down


  • the downloads are very slow, I have 5mbps wifi

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