If you are considering cutting the virtual chord to Netflix (NFLX)now that the company is raising its monthly subscription prices, there is no shortage of entertainment streaming alternatives to tap into. Here are the give best that also have iPhone apps and Android apps for your video enjoyment.
Primarily an alternative for TV junkies, Hulu Plus subscribers who pay a $7.99 monthly subscription from ABC, Fox, NBC and other outlets. Available on the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, the syncing abilities are like Netflix in that you can start watching a show on Hulu on your desktop, and continue where you left off while on the go with your smartphone or tablet. Hulu, which is reportedly on the block and may eventually be acquired by Google (GOOG), also deserves bonus points for its “Season Pass” product and 720p HD resolution.
The good news about Crackle is that it is absolutely free - with no download or monthly subscription costs. The bad news is you are primarily limited to movies and TV shows from Sony Entertainment (which developed the app service). Still, this includes classics like Seinfeld, Ghostbusters, and Newsradio and lots of new and more timely releases. Video quality is solid, and its interface is intuitive. Just note that not all titles available from the website are offered within the app.
OK, so I’m confident enough in my own masculinity to admit that I felt overwhelming joy being able watch a full episode of Grey’s Anatomy on the iPad last season after there was a recording problem on my Comcast DVR. While this app is obviously limited to ABC programming, just as Crackle is limited to Sony, you just can’t beat the price. This was the first great entertainment title available on the iPad, While there is no comparable app available for Android smartphones and Honeycomb-based tablets, the free ABC News Android app is nice to have in your library.
Increasingly, the best video entertainment in the world is produced by independent podcasters rather than bloated studios. While iTunes is serviceable for locating and playing video podcasts on iOS devices, Mediafly has a superior discovery and categorization platform. There are also several vertically-oriented Mediafly applications for categories like music, sports and automobiles. Particularly on Android devices, Mediafly is a must-have app for anyone who enjoys video or audio podcasts. Check out the Android tablet-specific version as well.
The bible for any movie and television junkie is also available via very robust iOS and Android devices. So if you don’t have the time or attention span to sit through an entire movie, get a quick fix of trailers and biographical information featuring your favorite actress or director. You can also shop for DVDs on the app and get movie times near you.