Smartphones add a lot of flexibility to the way people work, live, and consume entertainment. The screen may be smaller, but the impact is still big. This guide explains the different ways to watch movies and series using Android.
There’s no doubt that television is still hugely popular, but not everyone wants to sit in front of the TV. Plus, sometimes it’s occupied by someone else, watching the shows they want to watch. This is where Android comes to the rescue, along with different apps and their vast libraries of shows and movies.
The 4 Ways to Watch Movies With Android
Never say that Android users lack options because there are a few different ways to access movies with this OS. The four main ways are outlined here, though again, more options open up depending on a person’s choice. For instance, there’s a legion of streaming apps to wade through if an Android user decides to download one from an app store. But more on that below. First up, here’s how to access movies and series via Android.
Buy/Rent Movies Through the Google Play Movies & TV App
Google has a movie buying and renting app that’s set up in a similar way to the Google Play Store. It contains a massive library of old and new content that Android users can get access to at any time.
The Google Play Movies & TV app is super simple to use, too, just log in with a Google account where a payment method has been set up and start browsing. The latest releases always show up at the top, and there’s also a recommended list based on previous watches. Users can watch any content they rent through this app for 24 hours.
Watch With Android Streaming Apps
The Google Play Store has a long list of content streaming apps available for download. Some are free, while others are paid. A portion of the free apps offers a limited library with the option to upgrade to a paid version for access to the full library. Other free apps provide a large library of old and new content, though the legality of these apps greatly varies.
8 Best Free and Paid Movie Apps for Android
These are some of the best apps currently out there with which you can watch movies and TV series on any Android device. Many of these apps also support other devices like the Roku or Amazon Fire TV.
1. Popcorn Time
This app works great with Android because it has that classic simple scroll interface with left-hand menu setup. Besides the clean UI, Popcorn Time is popular with Android users all over the world because it relies on torrent files for its content. This means that there’s an extensive library of movies and series to choose from. Plus, no extra torrenting software is needed for it to work.
Download Popcorn Time APK — Free
A list like this wouldn’t be complete without this streaming giant. Netflix has been around for a long time, and the quality of their content grows every day, along with their library size. Unfortunately, as is the case with most legal streaming sites, different regions get access to different content. This can be overcome by getting a VPN for Android. But, honestly, it’ll take a while to get through all the content already on offer.
3. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video hasn’t been around for as long as Netflix has, but it has gained a lot of support since its launch. Thanks to the massive backing behind it, Amazon Prime Video has launched many quality shows of its own and boasts an impressive library. The app isn’t available everywhere yet, but new countries are added to the list every year.
If any one app could be called the most popular free streaming app, then it would be this one. That title is bestowed unto Showbox thanks to its massive library of content and easy interface. The app doesn’t require its users to sign up, it doesn’t contain annoying ads, and it supports HD quality content.
Download Showbox APK — Free
Hulu sets itself apart from many other subscription-based streaming sites by offering both on-demand series and movies, as well as live TV. Right now, this service is only open to those living in the US. However, it offers a sizeable library and a very user-friendly UI to those who can access it.
6. Sony Crackle
This is a Sony Entertainment app, but they’ve also partnered with a few other production houses. So the content isn’t just limited to Sony Pictures movies. Sony Crackle is a great and legal way to watch free movies on Android. The only downside here is that there is a ton of advertisements that cannot be skipped – be prepared for that.
7. Tubi TV
If diversity is a dealbreaker, then there’s no better option than Tubi TV. Not only does the app contain popular movies and television shows, but it also hosts an eclectic collection of content. There’s a bit of everything to be found here, from British documentaries to Korean dramas.
8. Terrarium TV
If torrents are out (it’s risky in some countries), then Terrarium TV is the best free alternative to apps like Showbox and Popcorn Time. The app doesn’t rely on torrents to deliver content but hosts all of its movies and shows on cloud servers. On top of that, Terrarium TV boasts a very clean UI and an extensive library of content. In fact, the creators claim that the collection has grown to over 10,000 shows and movies, some of which even come in 4K quality.
Download Terrarium TV APK from https://terrariumtv.co — Free
Watch Movies on YouTube
Watching movies or series episodes via YouTube isn’t always the most reliable option, but it’s still worth mentioning in the list of options to watch movies online. Many people upload full movies or episodes onto the platform, but these videos often get reported and taken down. There’s a chance that someone will be able to catch a movie they have wanted to see on the video-sharing platform before it’s taken down.
Present-day content aside, there is a whole collection of older movies and series that’s been uploaded onto YouTube. These usually don’t get taken down, either because the copyrights have expired or the creators don’t care enough to flag the videos.
Download from Torrent & Transfer to your Phone
This method isn’t strictly “online” as it can be done entirely offline. People can download movies straight onto their phones, but it’s usually easier and quicker to move them through a computer.
There are a couple of ways to go about this, but most people use torrenting programs to download movies or series they want to watch. Just keep in mind that it is illegal for a person to download anything they don’t already own.
After the download is finished, the computer and smartphone can be connected via either a cable or Bluetooth if the PC supports that. The files can then be transferred to the phone and stored in the internal storage or an external SD card if one is installed.
Always Put Mobile Security First
Despite the convenience that comes with using apps for movie streaming, there are many pitfalls to watch out for before opting to watch movies and TV shows online on your Android device.
Due to the demand for streaming apps, many fake or malicious movie streaming apps keep popping up. It can be tough to differentiate between a legitimate app and malware. Especially with the less than legal ones. So many people get tricked into downloading an app that will violate their privacy or safety. These apps may even work as intended, making them none the wiser for a good while.
On the flip side of that dangerous coin are the relatively common safety risks posed by reputable apps. Their developers aren’t out to “get” those who download their apps, but they aren’t doing all they can to ensure the safety of their apps either. Hackers take advantage of the security holes opened up by these insecure apps to infect phones with their malware. Or, as often happens, they simply hack into the app and get access to everything the app has access to.
Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way of knowing whether an app is safe to use or not. But there are a few things a person can do to lower their risk of becoming a victim:
- Check all the app permissions and deny any permission access that seems irrelevant to the app’s function.
- Activate two-factor authentication on any account that has access to sensitive information, like credit card details.
- Download and install any good VPN for Android like Nord VPN, which you can download from here. This will protect the phone’s internet connection from outsiders latching on.
- Stick to reputable app stores like Google Play and stay away from any third party app stores.
A Final Word
There’s a wide variety of options available to Android users who want to watch movies and shows online. Whether they prefer buying, renting, subscribing to a service, or getting free content —there’s something for everyone.
Yet, as always, the term “free” comes with a price. Getting movies and series for free may seem like a bargain, but those who create these apps need something in return. Yes, advertisements can be a big incentive, but so is the identity or credit card theft. So be sure to take precautions when downloading any new apps, especially if they’re free.