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The Best Free Movie Streaming Apps for the iPhone – April 2019

Posted by Jamie on April 17, 2019

We all know about the Netflix’s and Hulu’s of the world. Nearly every streaming platform out there requires anywhere from $6 to $15 per month for access to their rotating library of films and television shows. And sure, paying for one or two streaming platforms is affordable enough, but to gain the widest variety of access, you’ll need to add in HBO, Showtime, CBS All Access, the upcoming Disney+ service, and six or seven more platforms to your collection. Soon enough, you’re paying $80 to $90 a month just to stream movies to your phone—and even then, you still have to deal with their rotating libraries of movies and TV shows, not to mention the cost of your internet access just to load the sites on your smartphone or computer. saveee

Luckily for us, there are a bunch of free-streaming apps for your iPhone and iPad that let you watch their collection of films for free, while being supported financially with ad breaks during the film. Sure, advertisement breaks in a film aren’t great, but for some users, it’s a world better than paying $12.99 a month for access to Netflix. We’ve tested a bunch of different streaming applications on iOS, to check for quality and performance, as well as legality. Apple doesn’t allow pirated movie apps on their platform, and since you can’t sideload apps onto iOS the way you can on Android, we’ll have to stick with legal options for most of this list, with just one or two exceptions. Nearly every application on our list is both legal and downloadable from the Play Store—with two notable exceptions we’ll highlight at the bottom of the list.

So, if you’re tired of overpaying for streaming apps, and you don’t mind putting up with a few advertisements during the film, come along and join us for our roundup of the best streaming movie apps available right now for your iPhone and iPad.

Everyone else

Popcornflix is a streaming service similar to Tubi TV, but both the content library and the layout of the film leave a lot to be desired. There are some films on here worth watching that you won’t find on other services—The BurbsThe Manchurian Candidate, and Clue are some decent standouts—a lot of the library is very similar to what we saw earlier when exploring Tubi TV. The family sections is severely lacking, filled with old and forgotten cartoons like The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and The Legend of Zelda, and both comedy and drama genres alike leave a lot to be desired in their lineups, with no major titles not already available on Crackle or Tubi. Most of the titles here won’t register to most users, with a large portion of the titles available simply not familiar outside of specific genre circles.

Playback was smooth enough, with less commercial interruption than Crackle, and the timeline did show when advertisements would appear during the stream of the films. But a streaming app is only as good as its library of available titles, and Popcornflix leaves a lot to be desired there. It’s worth installing to check out forgotten and misbegotten horror and western titles from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, but overall, you won’t find much here that can’t be done better elsewhere.

Viewster’s a bit of an outlier when it comes to free movie streaming apps, because its collection of streaming films and TV shows really only fits one niche audience: fans of obscure anime and Korean dramas. While other apps we tested typically list at least a few blockbuster-level productions, Viewster is exclusively focused on highlighting anime, as well as web content fans of anime might enjoy. Browsing through the selections of streaming content, there were a few titles recognizable to anyone who’s even flirted with the anime fandom, including Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Kill la Kill. But beyond a couple recognizable titles, Viewster is a whole lot of nothing.

Outside of their animated efforts, they have a selection of unknown Korean dramas (or K-dramas) and some D-grade horror titles including, in all seriousness, Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned and Redneck County Fever. Yikes. Viewster isn’t a bad app, but unless you fit into one of the small groups of people interested in some unknown selections of anime and bad mid-2000’s digital films, you’re better off elsewhere.

You might not know that Amazon owns IMDb, one of the oldest sites on the internet. For the most part, Amazon allows the company to operate independently, albeit with some small changes. If you ever watch a film on Amazon Prime, you might notice that pausing the video brings up trivia, casting information, and more, sourced right from IMDb. The two companies have now rolled out their latest venture together, IMDb Freedive, a free streaming service that allows you to stream a limited number of movies and shows within the Amazon Prime app on your iOS device. You’ll need an Amazon account to watch this content, but both Prime and non-Prime members can use the Amazon Prime Video app to watch movies free with ads.

With so much content, from online web shows and vlogs to music videos and home movies of your cats, it can be difficult to find anything on YouTube, let alone full length feature films. From issues of copyright to the rental service built into YouTube, that leaves anyone looking to find entertainment on YouTube with only two major options: films that have entered the public domain, and films from independent creators that have been hosted on YouTube for anyone to watch. Whether you’re a film buff or an average movie-goer looking for something to watch on a Friday night in, YouTube actually has plenty of content to watch. Google offers a rotating selection of great films available for free on YouTube, and though they may not hold up to the spectacle of watching the newest Marvel movie in theaters, that doesn’t mean it lacks in proper value. In fact, we think you’ll be surprised by the breadth of content available on the platform that’s able to be watched for free; you can check them out here.

Piracy apps like Showbox might not work on most iOS devices, but you can find a number of apps online that use Safari to allow you to circumvent the piracy protections put in place by Apple. CotoMovies is just one of those apps, effectively operating much like Showbox or TeaTV on other platforms. If you’re looking to stream pirated content on your iOS device, you’ll do so at your own risk. Remember that ISPs can track your activity online, and if you’re detected downloading or streaming content that you haven’t bought or paid for in some way, you may find yourself in some serious trouble. Although we here at TechJunkie do not condone using products like CotoMovies, we do think acknoweldging what is a widely-known product helps to inform users of what’s already on the market. It’s important to note, however, that as we were preparing this article in April of 2019, CotoMovies had dropped offline due to Apple blocking the app. The developer, however, had stated the app would be up within several days.

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