Top 11 Best Live TV Apps for Android to Watch TV Channels on Phone or Tablet

Android Apps to Watch Live TV for Free

Want to watch your favourite TV shows on the go? If yes, there are plenty of Android apps that let you do so. The good news is that most of the major TV networks and broadcast houses have the Android apps for free streaming. Most such apps stream the content in full HD quality too. All you need is a smart Android device connected to internet.

We have handpicked the Top 11 Best Android Apps to Watch Free Live TV on Android Smartphone and Tablet. Every TV Network offers at least some full episodes through its app without you having to use the Pay-TV subscription. While some apps are more generous with full episodes than the others, there is always something to be had from each one of them. Take a look!

1. Crackle

You might have heard the name Crackle only in the passing as it isn’t exactly a very popular live TV app. But, make no mistake as it is quickly emerging as one of the top favourites of the TV lovers. Owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation, this Live TV app can be considered as the miniature version of the more (or most) popular Netflix.

Crackle has its own line of Original TV shows and some of them pretty good, such as Sequestered and Getting Coffee. The app also syndicates many popular shows from big TV production houses including TriStar Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems and more. The Larry Sanders Show, Damages, Good Times, Seinfeld, and Barney Miller are some popular TV shows available on Crackle. But, in spite of these good shows, the selection is pretty sparse and the commercial frequent breaks could be pretty annoying at times.

2. The CW Network

The CW Network offers a pretty decent collection of the currently running and classic TV shows. It also features some of the cancelled shows too. The app is pretty well designed and in the show details you can watch the photo galleries to get some idea (however faint) about the nature of the show. You could enable the mobile notification to be alerted whenever a new episode is available on the app.

There is a big pool of shows to pick from including some of the top CW favourites such as Beauty and the Beast, Masters of Illusion, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and more. What’s seriously incredible is the fact that you don’t have to authenticate the app through pay-TV. You can stream all the episodes without any hassles.

The app does pack some cool features but it seems to be a bit clumsy and slow at times even on the best mobile devices. Also, there are quite a few ads you have to watch through as there is no option to skip.

3. Discovery Channel

We love to watch Discovery Channel! Don’t we? You don’t necessarily need a TV or cable connection to watch the Discovery shows anymore because you could download this live TV app on your Android device. And, the good news is that you don’t need the Pay Television Subscription for this app. The app has a pretty simple but functional design without a lot of fuss. This TV app from Discovery Channel allows you to watch the full episodes if they are available. You could also bookmark your favourite shows for easy access.

What’s really cool is that there are absolutely no ads. Of course there is the introductory roll in the beginning but that’s that. But, the collection of the episodes is ‘very’ tiny. There are only seven episodes to watch. That sounds a little weird but it is a fact. That’s probably because the app is sans ads but we would still like to see more of what Discovery has.

4. Fox Now

The best thing about Fox Now is its interface, which looks pretty catchy. The feeds appear in the pin-up style, the way you see it on Pinterest. There are some good shows waiting to be streamed including Hell’s Kitchen, New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bones, The Mindy Project, and Sleepy Hollow. But, honestly, Fox seems to be a tad niggardly will full episodes on app as compared to its TV counterpart.

If you are someone who likes everything that’s social, there is some treat for you. There is a Twitter thread right on the home screen. And, you can sign in with your Facebook credentials to bookmark the shows you want easy access to.

Fox Now app has its own share of drawbacks. All the full episodes are not available for streaming and that, to say the least, could be very irksome. Of course, some shows offer full streaming and they could easily be your favourites. But, a large number of shows remain unlocked unless you subscribe to Pay-TV.

5. A&E

Reality shows have remained the signature of the A&E network and that’s what you mostly get to see on its Android app. Duck Dynasty, Flip this House, and every other such name you could think of is there for streaming. The app design features everything you could expect from it. The menus are pretty well laid out. The slideshow are pretty quick and slick. There is the ‘Just Added’ section where you can see the list of the recent episodes. There is the ‘Watch List’ that accounts the episodes you have recently watched. If you have been the Hoarders fan, you will love to know that almost all the episodes are available for streaming. Everything is free here as you do not need the Pay-TV subscription.

The episode selection is a little irritatingly inconsistent. It does not always feature the episodes recently aired on TV. Also, some of its truly popular TV shows, such as Cement Heads and Dog the Bounty Hunter, will remain locked until you subscribe to their satellite TV. There are a few old episodes, here and there, you could watch but that’s about that. The episodes are fraught with frequent ads that can’t be skipped. And, The Glades and Bates Motel are not available at all.

6. Showbox

Showbox is a free movie-streaming app, yet highly popular among the entertainment lovers in USA and UK. This app came as a surprise for android lovers full of latest TV shows, and English movies. Slowly it started upgrading itself to accommodate movies, and new features.

It’s a much-loved app and the developers keep on coming up with new updates to feed the ever-growing hunger of movie lovers.

7. ABC

ABC was one of the first mainstream TV networks to introduce the live streaming app for mobile phones. ABC app has a pretty good looking interface with nice overlays and a clutter free layout. The cover images are large and prominent. The individual pages for the shows are quite interesting too. All in all, the interface and design are a visual treat. The app is pretty functional too as it offers easy search and navigation. You can watch the full episodes of some of the popular shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Modern Family, Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and more.

You need the Pay-TV subscription in order to watch the latest episodes (except for the few shows like Selfie). This gets a little tricky with the daily shows as you might miss the episodes for one full week. The other challenge is that this app is compatible with only a bunch of Android devices. You will be able to run it on Samsung Galaxy, some Kindle Fire devices, Nexus devices, and a few more devices with latest Android firmware.

8. CBS

CBS TV Network has produced some of the most successful TV Shows including The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds, The Good Wife and Elementary. You can watch these shows for free on its live streaming app. There are some shows with commentary tracks, which could be a huge plus for the fans. It is pretty generous with full episodes. You will find a lot of daytime as well as late-night shows here. The interface is nice and lists your favourites and recently watched shows. It also gives you recommendations based on your viewing history. You don’t need the pay-TV credentials to watch the TV shows.

Most of the popular shows are available on CBS but there are some glaring omissions that are hard to ignore. You will not find Blue Bloods, CSI, 2 Broke Girls and The Amazing Race here. You can watch the full episodes of the Survivor show but the most recent one is from nearly a decade back. Of course, there are annoying commercials too, probably to make for what the app loses in not making Pay-TV mandatory.

9. History

Much like A&E, History TV is best known for its reality shows like Top Gear, Gangland, American Pickers, Road Trucker, Mountain Men and a few more. History is a simple and neat looking app. It has a recently-watched list where you can see the shows you watched recently and pick from where you left. It also has a Topics menu that allows you to browse the favourite shows by category.

The most recent episodes can be streamed only be signing in with your Pay-TV credentials. And the episodes that stream for free are rife with ads. Also, there isn’t a single full episode of the top miniseries like Hatfields & McCoys and Bonnie & Clyde.

10. Lifetime

This app by Lifetime TV Network offers a pretty decent free streaming selection. Lifetime is another TV channel known best for its reality shows. You could watch full episodes of Catering Wars, Bring It, Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition Runway. But, what you can’t do is stream the ongoing season of its most popular shows, such as Dance Moms, without the Pay-TV authentication. Unfortunately, you cannot watch The Client List and Army Wives at all even if you have signed in with PayTV.

11. NBC

The older instalments of the NBC app were very buggy and crashed every now and then. But, the latest, improved version is more stable and offers an impressive, easy to use interface. This app also probably has the largest selection of the full episodes. Commercials show up regularly during the episode but they don’t seem very intruding or annoying.

Previous versions of NBC's Android app were so crashy that I couldn't even give them a proper test. The new—and thankfully stable—NBC streaming app, however, impresses with its easy-to-navigate interface and one of the most generous selections of full (if ad-supported) episodes I've ever seen in a mobile app. Also, they have no full episodes of Hannibal and Grimm series.

But, the app offers a lot to feel delighted about. NBC has the full episodes of almost all the shows and you do not need to use the Pay-TV subscription. America’s Got Talent, About a Boy, The Voice, The Blacklist, Parenthood, and Chicago Fire are some of the shows for which full episodes are available for free. There are plenty of full episodes for daytime and late-night shows up for streaming as well.



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TechGlobeX: Top 11 Best Live TV Apps for Android to Watch TV Channels on Phone or Tablet
Top 11 Best Live TV Apps for Android to Watch TV Channels on Phone or Tablet
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