Especially since the release of the iPhone, watching video on the go has become a more tangible reality. With the iPad, that reality has become more enjoyable. Both devices are capable of delivering some pretty fantastic video experiences. They might even convince you to cut the cord on your cable subscription. But what apps will help you get the best TV shows and movies the internet has to offer? Let’s take a look.
Movies and TV
Arguably, the best way to watch movies on either device is the Netflix app. Its a free app but requires a monthly subscription. You can sign up for a free trial though. Regardless of some recent hiccups in their lineup, Netflix still has the best movie library content to offer. The subscription is $7.99/month.
Amazon Instant Video (Subscription)
Amazon Instant Video is a great alternative to Netflix. If you’re an Amazon Prime member (which gives you free 2-day shipping on products) you’ll get access to Amazon’s ever growing streaming movie and TV catalog. It’s not as big as Netflix’ but its another great alternative. The subscription is $79/year or about $6.60/month.
iTunes (Paid Purchases and Rentals)
iTunes is obviously the way Apple wants you to watch movies and TV shows on your iPad and iPhone. Unsurprisingly, it is also the most expensive. I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever rented a movie from iTunes. I know I have never bought one. I wanted to include this option, but really this post is meant to show you the streaming options outside of iTunes.
Crackle is one of the only ways to watch truly free movies on your iPhone or iPad that’s worth mentioning. How can they be free you ask? Commercials of course. If you’re willing to sit through some ads, Crackle does give you access to some modern movies and some classics too. Don’t expect too much content and you’ll be happy with Crackle.
Watch ABC (Free)
ABC Player has been deemed the best way to watch full TV episodes on your mobile device for free. Granted, you can only watch shows offered by the ABC network, but their are some good ones on there. It also earns revenue from commercials, so you will see some before and during episodes. ABC Player works great on iPhone and iPad. I just wish it could stream to an AppleTV via AirPlay.
Of the major networks, NBC’s app is the weakest of the bunch. It runs on both iPhone and iPad but seriously looks like it’s just a repackaged version of NBC’s website. The selection of full episodes is lacking too. But I guess NBC had to throw their hat in the ring and this is what we get.
Public television has a cool iPhone app? Yep. PBS for iPhone [link] and iPad are separate apps for some reason, but give you access to full episodes of some of the content provided by donations. You don’t even have to donate to get all of the content for free. The iPad version has better reviews, so that might provide a better experience for you.
Hulu Plus (Subscription)
Hulu Plus is the premium way to watch current and past TV episodes on the internet period. Now they have brought that ability to the iPhone and iPad with their own app. The app is great and will give you access to a huge number of modern and classic shows…at a price. The monthly subscription fee is $7.99. Thats comparable to Netflix but, unlike Netflix, you still have to watch commercials. Thats got a few users up in arms, but Hulu is still the easiest way to get caught up with the most shows.