Most Popular Streaming Video Apps

Published on by Streaming Video Apps

Must-Have Streaming Video Apps thumbnailUsing smartphone apps, you can stream your favorite media anywhere.

With high-speed 3G and 4G networks available in many parts of the country, more people are using their mobile phones not only to make calls and surf the Internet, but to watch their favorite video content as well. From free major network broadcasts to premium cable channel programming, almost every type of video content is available for viewing on your Android or iOS-powered phone, as well as for other popular platforms such as Windows Phone 7 and webOS. Just as there are many sources for mobile video content, a wide assortment of streaming apps allows you to watch that content on your phone. Knowing which apps work best on your phone can save you considerable time and effort when you want to watch your favorite programming or television shows.

YouTube Mobile

  • Most Apple iPhones come with an integrated YouTube app that does a reasonably good job of streaming lower-quality videos from the popular video-sharing site. However, if you want the ability to stream high-definition videos on your iPhone and iPhone-style dual sim cell phone, or if you have a smartphone with Android or the Windows Phone 7 operating system, you should check out the YouTube Mobile app from Google. The application is a free download from YouTube, and it automatically chooses the best resolution video for your phone and connection. The YouTube Mobile app, with its clean and simple interface, is also much easier to use than most apps that often make even finding the videos you want on YouTube somewhat difficult.

TV.com

  • Designed and released by CBS Interactive, the TV.com mobile app lets you watch TV shows not only from the CBS network but from affiliate and subsidiary media outlets such as CW, Showtime, CNET and many others as well. The TV.com app is a free download and supports most popular mobile browsers and platforms. Even better, most programming (except Showtime premium broadcasts) is free to viewers in the United States and Canada. With TV.com, you can watch full episodes of your favorite shows from supported networks without having to pay Amazon, iTunes or Netflix for a rental.

Dropbox

  • Most people think of Dropbox as just another online file storage service. However, if you have a smartphone with iOS, Android or Windows Phone 7, Dropbox is also an excellent video streaming medium. If you have treasured home movies or videos on your home PC, upload them to Dropbox and then you can stream them directly from your smartphone. As long as you upload the files in a supported format -- such as MOV, MP4 or M4V -- you can stream the videos directly from most smartphone browsers.

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HBO Go

  • In a December 2011 edition of the New York Post, Claire Atkinson quoted Netflix CEO Reed Hastings as saying that the biggest challenge to the Netflix business model was HBO Go. HBO is a hugely profitable provider of premium content on cable channels, and HBO Go allows subscribers to view all HBO content anywhere using their laptops or smartphones with Android, iOS or Windows Phone 7. HBO Go is free to subscribers of the HBO cable service, and sign-up requires only that you authenticate a subscription through your cable service provider’s website. Authenticating your account can be a little tricky with smaller cable companies, but with major cable networks such as Cox and Comcast, authentication requires only a few mouse clicks. After you authenticate your account, download the app and start watching your favorite HBO programming anytime and anywhere.

PC-to-Mobile Streaming Apps

  • If you have a high-speed broadband connection that supports fast uploads as well as fast download speeds, you can use your home PC or Mac as a media server and stream media directly to your smartphone. Using Plex or Air Video for a PC or a Mac, you can set up a video server on your home computer in minutes and make all music and video on the machine available for streaming to authorized users on any desktop computer, laptop or smartphone. Using your phone’s built-in browser, you can stream popular-format media from your home computer by simply entering the IP address of your computer into the address bar of the mobile browser and logging in with a username and password. After you log in, media available on your home computer displays in a list that’s easy to navigate and use.

Pocket Casts

  • Podcasts have allowed thousands of unlikely individuals to become true Internet video stars. If you follow a certain group or individual on the Web and you want to stay abreast of any new audio or video podcasts they create, then Pocket Casts is just what you need. With Pocket Casts and your iOS or Android smartphone, you can quickly search for podcasts by name, genre or category and then download and view them with a couple of clicks. Alternatively, you can enter Web URLs manually and save them so that Pocket Casts can update automatically whenever a new podcast is available from that site. Priced at $1.99 at the App Store or Android Market -- with a free, feature-limited Lite version available as well -- Pocket Casts is one of the better bargains in an audio or video streaming app.

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