There are so many apps for streaming movies and TV on Android that it’s hard to know which ones are worthy of your viewing time. While it’s not quite as competitive as the streaming app market in the U.S., there are a bunch of TV and movie apps available to U.K. media lovers too.
In this list we’ll be running down the best U.K. TV and movie streaming apps on the Google Play Store so far. That means there’s no room for the upcoming BritBox and Freeview Play apps, but when they do launch we’ll update this list if they’re good enough to make the cut.
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best U.K. TV and movie streaming apps regularly as new apps and services become available.
Best UK TV apps and movie streaming apps for Android
1. BBC iPlayer
Price: Free (requires license fee)
The BBC is a U.K. media institution so it’s no surprise that its TV app is one of the most popular streaming apps on the U.K. Play Store. Of all the channel-specific apps, iPlayer offers the most diverse selection of content with access to 12 BBC channels. This includes box sets, documentaries, and children’s shows on CBBC and CBeebies. It’s also the most user friendly and has an easy to use offline downloads feature. You need a TV license to use it, but BBC iPlayer is without doubt one of the best U.K. TV and movie streaming apps. There’s also an iPlayer Kids app for the little ones.
2. All 4, ITV Hub, My5 (TV channel apps)
The rest of the U.K.’s major TV channels also offer apps with on-demand streaming and catch-up services. ITV Hub is great if you love reality shows, dramas, and soaps, All 4 has an eclectic mix of series and documentaries, and My5 has all the trash TV you’ll ever need. All three are propped up by adverts, but unlike BBC iPlayer you don’t need a TV license to use them (as long you don’t watch live). ITV Hub has a paid tier for £3.99 that removes the ads and makes the app work abroad. All of the apps also feature Chromecast support.
3. Now TV
Price: From £3.99 a month
Of the many, many Sky-owned apps on the Play store, Now TV is arguably the best. The popular Now TV service essentially gives users quick access to Sky TV shows, movies, sport, and more, on a rolling monthly subscription. All you have to do is download the app and buy a “Pass” for the content you want. The £5.99 Sky Sports Pass, in particular, is fantastic for football lovers (soccer to our U.S. readers) that only want to catch their team’s games. Sky’s apps are generally a bit terrible, but Now TV is the best of a bad lot thanks to its simple UI, Chromecast support, and offline downloads feature.
4. Sky Go
Price: Free (as part of Sky TV) / additional £5 a month for Sky Go Extra
Speaking of mediocre Sky apps, the Sky Go app only makes this list on the strength of the content available. Designed solely for existing customers, Sky Go gives Sky TV subscribers access to all Sky TV content they already pay for on the go. If you’ve got the Sky Cinema and Sky Sports bundles, you’ve basically got the best library of movies and live sport event coverage that’s possible on mobile. Unfortunately, the app itself is buggy, contains ads, and is incredibly restrictive unless you stump up more money for Sky Go Extra. This extends the two device limit to four and includes offline downloads. If you’re a Sky Q customer the Sky Q app is a much better alternative. Likewise, if you have a different premium TV provider then BT and Virgin Media also have equivalent apps for paid users.
Price: From £8.99 a month
The streaming service to end them all, Netflix is just as great in the U.K. as it is everywhere else. While regional licenses mean U.K. Netflix misses out on some Hollywood movies and U.S. TV, there’s still plenty to fill your eyeballs with. It’s also one of the best video apps of any kind you’ll find on the Play Store with ultra simple controls and helpful features. Pricing starts from £8.99 a month for access to HD streaming of thousands of movies and shows, including widely-acclaimed Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Bojack Horseman, Mindhunter, and so many more.
6. Amazon Prime Video
Price: From £5.99 a month
Netflix’s biggest rival in the U.K. comes from online retail giant Amazon with its Prime Video streaming service. Available as a standalone subscription for £5.99 a month or as part of the wider Amazon Prime package for £7.99 a month (or £79 yearly), Amazon Prime Video comes with a bunch of movies and TV shows, including a growing number of Prime Originals. Unfortunately, the quality control for what gets onto Prime Video is really low. The cluttered UI also makes it a pain to find content that is streamable as part of the subscription rather than buying or rental. However, you can’t argue with blockbuster movies and Amazon Prime for less than a basic Netflix subscription.
Price: £9.99 a month
Available in over 190 countries, MUBI is a wonderful source for alternative cinema and classic movies. For £9.99 a month the MUBI app lets you pick from a wealth of films, download for offline viewing, and start building a social profile to show off your favorite movies and directors. MUBI Go is also worth checking out for movie lovers, although this swaps streaming for a weekly cinema ticket to see a hand-picked movie for an extra £9.99 a month.
Price: Free / £6.50 a month
The U.K. is woefully underserved when it comes to streaming anime, but at least we have Crunchyroll. Packed with a bonkers number of shows, Crunchyroll gives viewers access to free anime streams and, if you’re a Crunchyroll Premium member, ad-free content including new episodes straight after they’ve aired in Japan. The app itself is in desperate need of an upgrade as the player is incredibly slow (especially on mobile data), but aside from FunimationNow, there’s just no competition for anime fans.
9. BFI Player
Price: £4.99 a month
If you’re after U.K. indie and cult classic movies then the British Film Institute has you covered. Unlike on iOS devices, the BFI Player doesn’t actually have an Android app and just uses the Chrome web browser, but we’re including it anyway as it’s one of the better U.K.-exclusive streaming services out there. For £4.99 a month you get access to BFI Player’s vault of over 300 carefully curated cinematic masterpieces.
10. Disney Life
Price: £4.99 a month
Until Disney Plus rolls around there’s no better streaming app to entertain the youngsters than Disney Life. With streams of classic Disney movies, Disney Channel shows, and even your favorite Disney music tracks, this is the app for hardcore Disney fans. The service has a generous allowance of 10 registered devices and the ability to watch on up to four screens at the same time. It also has robust parental controls and the app is fairly slick. The only downside is that this is pure Disney so you don’t get other properties like Marvel and Star Wars, but for £4.99 a month it’s hard to complain.
Have we missed any great UK TV and movie streaming apps? Let us know in the comments!
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July 26, 2019 at 04:44AM