Ever since Netflix first burst onto the scene and completely altered the ways in which people consume media, competitors have been rushing to offer an alternative to the iconic streaming service. Whether we are talking about the hoards of other premium streaming services that have been founded in Netflix’s wake – such as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, Disney Prime, etc. (the list goes on and on) – or any number of free streaming sites and apps that have tried their luck at completely dismantling the whole premium streaming model altogether, one thing remains true … we have no shortage of streaming platforms out there to choose from.
This means that when it comes time to figure out which streaming app is the right one for you, it is far from an easy decision. It’s true that this might be a wonderful predicament to be in – having a hard time choosing one of the best free streaming apps on the web – but it can still be overwhelming and, more often than not, extremely time-consuming.
You have no reason to worry, though, because that is precisely why I have made StreamingSites … to help you weed through all of the free streaming apps (as well as the premium streaming apps and many other sites that let you watch movies and TV, of course) in order to quickly make the most informed decision possible. There is no need for you to audition different free streaming apps anymore. I’ve already done that part for you!
All you have to do is scroll through my list of free streaming apps, find the ones that interest you, and read my review to get a quick and easy glimpse into how they work, how legit they are, what quality they let you stream movies and shows in, how well they are designed, and what features and content they have to offer.
What should you be looking for in a free streaming app, though? What makes one free streaming app better than another? Well, honestly, a lot of this boils down to a matter of your own subjective tastes, but there are some general qualities that all the best free streaming apps tend to share.
For one thing, the best free streaming apps have a large range of movies and shows to choose from. Nobody wants a streaming service that doesn’t have the titles they are looking for. My favorite free streaming apps never let me down; no matter what movie or TV show I search for, they will have it (ideally in HD).
The next thing that I pay the most attention to when it comes to free streaming apps is the app design. As you already know, there can be a great deal of variance when it comes to how intuitive, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing different apps can be. Especially when we are dealing with video streaming apps. The only free streaming apps for me are the ones that make streaming content fun, simple, and easy to use.
These are not the only factors that I take into account, of course, when evaluating a free streaming app, but they are the first two things that I look at (and one could argue, perhaps, the most important). That being said, without further ado, let’s take a look at a popular (if notorious) free streaming app, Popcorn Time. Let’s delve in and find out once and for all if this app is worth the storage space on your mobile device.
Popcorn Time was allegedly developed over the span of just “a couple of weeks” by a team in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Once the app was up and running, one of this group’s very first orders of business was to create their whimsical mascot, Pochoclo, a cheerfully animated bag of popcorn. Pochoclo is the word for “popcorn” in Buenos Aire’s parlance.
The mission behind Popcorn Time, though, is much more serious and political than Pochoclo might make it seem. The group that developed the app has said that they believe the concept of “piracy” is nothing more than a “service problem” that has been manufactured by “an industry [the entertainment production industry] that portrays innovation as a threat to their antique recipe to collect value.” In other words, Popcorn Time does not see piracy as a real problem. In fact, it seems to imply that they believe that providing free content to people is just a byproduct of the innovation of technology.
Popcorn Time received tons of mainstream media attention when it first launched in 2016. This was largely due to its ease of use. Both PC Magazine and CBS News likened Popcorn Time’s intuitive and streamlined design to that of Netflix, while also highlighting the ways in which Popcorn Time surpassed Netflix, such as its much broader library and recency of selections that are available. Others have noted how glaringly Popcorn Time contrasts with a normally “sketchy ecosystem of torrents,” in the words of Caitlin Dewey of The Washington Times, providing a sleeker, cleaner look, and a very user-friendly interface.
Comparing Popcorn Time to Netflix, I think, is very fair. The library is sorted and organized in a similar fashion, allowing users to easily browse titles by genre and newness. Simply click on a movie or TV show to access it via the app’s Bit Torrent protocol. That is how the app works. It does the work of torrenting for you, while also making it possible to stream torrents without downloading them to your computer.
Popcorn Time downloads the torrents to its servers, then feeds those downloads to you through their streaming media player. In addition to being one of the best-designed free streaming apps out there, it is also, in my opinion, one of the cleverest in terms of how they provide users with their content.
Speaking of content, what movies and shows will Popcorn Time allow you to stream? Well, honestly, this app will help you find just about anything you could possibly be looking for … even movies that are still in theaters. The quality of these particular movies will vary, sure, from cam vids to HD bootlegs, but, still, if there is a torrent of it on the internet, Popcorn Time has it available to stream over your mobile device or desktop computer.
That’s the other great thing about this app … it is available on just about any device. Stream from Popcorn Time’s endless library on your Android, iPhone, Windows, Mac, Linux, or Android TV. Take an enormous collection of just about every show and movie in existence with you, no matter where you go.
What is amazing about Popcorn Time is the fact that perhaps no other free streaming app (or any kind of streaming app, for that matter) has a larger library. Due to Popcorn Time’s unique and effective means of streaming movies and shows, you will never run out of content. Nor will you have much trouble finding even the obscurest film. Plus, a huge portion of these movies and shows can be streamed in HD, all absolutely free of charge.
Suggestions that I have for Popcorn Time
For some reason (probably legal and copyrighting conflicts) I was unable to find Popcorn Time on the Apple App Store. I would imagine the same thing is true for Android’s Google Play as well. Instead, you have to go to Popcorn Time’s official site in order to download an installer from which you will have to manually install the app onto your mobile device. So, my first main suggestion for Popcorn Time would be to figure out a way to make this process easier.
Secondly, given how relatively annoying it is to actually download the Popcorn Time app, I would like to see more of an active community of users. A forums section, for instance, could make all the difference, where Popcorn Time users could post instructions and how to handle potential technical difficulties, as well as just kill some time discussing their favorite movies, shows, etc.