Jun 27, 2011
If there has been one disadvantage that Android has had compared to iOS that even fervent Android owners have to admit is a weakness is streaming video. Many streaming services have opened up shop on iOS, and Android has lagged behind in this aspect; however, several services are starting to make their way on to Android via specialized apps.
Netflix: The popular streaming service is slowly but surely spreading its way across the Android universe. However, only certain devices have access to the app at the moment; the Galaxy S line of devices is blocked, for example. This is in part due to DRM concerns, claims Netflix; the helpful folks at XDA-Developers have downloads available for those who can’t install the device from the Android Market, though compatibility is far from guaranteed. It’s understandable that Netflix might have to make special accommodations to appease DRM-crazy rights holders in order to bring their content to more devices, and Netflix does seem to be expanding their device lineup with each update. Of course, considering users are paying for Netflix access and iOS has had access for far longer, hopefully the media rights holders ease up for the sake of Android users. We’re not all evil pirates!
Hulu Plus: This service exists primarily as a competitor to Netflix, offering extended libraries and mobile compatibility for both archive and current TV and movie content. Hulu Plus is required to watch on any kind of mobile platform, and not all content that is available on the web Hulu is available on Hulu Plus. Oh, and did we mention that all this content is still ad-supported, even with the subscription fees? Plus, the Hulu Plus Android app is available on a whopping 6 devices right now; that’s just even more limited utility for a service of limited utility as is.
HBO Go: Finally, HBO offers their own streaming service for their content on mobile, with an app for Android with far wider support – this is the only one of the three services in this article available on the Galaxy S line, for example. Available for HBO subscribers, this offers both current and past HBO content available from within their app. Plus, HBO has not been shy about offering advanced access to their content through the app. Fans of Game of Thrones could have watched the 7th episode of the season immediately after the conclusion of the 6th episode, and the 2nd episode of True Blood’s 4th season is available right now after the season premiere last night. Again, this comes at no additional fee to HBO subscribers, and this app is available on more devices than both Hulu Plus and Netflix.