No matter how smart our TVs get, they can't compete with the experience of being able to tap and swipe to select what you want to watch. Seeing your favourite movies close up on a big, beautiful, bright tablet display is just about the best experience you'll get short of sitting back in a big-screen cinema. These are our top apps for watching streaming movies, TV and catch-up video on your Android tablet.
Gizmodo's Guide To Tablet Apps is presented by the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2: with a pixel-rich Super AMOLED display, your images and videos are sharper and more vivid than ever before. Learn more about the Galaxy Tab S2’s specs.
Netflix is the streaming movie and TV service du jour in Australia — it's what we've been waiting for for years, with a single monthly fee and access to thousands of episodes of TV and movies from around the world. Netflix also makes a lot of its own programming like House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black, and commissions a bunch of great stand-up comedy specials. The Android app, too, is super-slick and easy to use.
Stan is a big, bold plan to take on the might of Netflix — with the power of the Nine Network behind it. When you sign up to Stan, you're getting a bunch of first-run Aussie and US TV like Ash Vs. Evil Dead and Better Call Saul and No Activity, all for a flat monthly fee of $10. You can watch Stan wherever you like, but its interface and high-quality streaming video look best on a big, bright tablet.
Foxtel has been a mainstay in Australia's subscription TV and movies for a long time, and Foxtel Go is the latest evolution of its service. If you have a subscription, you're able to watch up to 78 channels of live and catch-up Foxtel video, including new releases straight from the US like The Walking Dead. Foxtel Go has just been released to the entire family of Android tablets, so as long as your device is running an up-to-date version of the software, you're good to go.
If Netflix and Stan are the two big guns in streaming video in Australia, then Presto is number three. Foxtel Go might be Foxtel's attempt at getting you watching live-streaming TV video on your tablet, but Presto is all about monthly all-you-can-eat access to a huge library of new release and existing TV and movies on your Android device. There's a flat monthly subscription of $10 or $15 depending on which plan you choose, and you can have up to three different tablets or phone registered simultaneously.
Australia's number one public broadcaster, the ABC, has an excellent app in iView. iView has been around for a while now, and it's only getting better with every update. A great range of interesting Aussie video is on offer, as well as the best of the BBC and ABC's international partners. ABC1 is now live-streaming on iView, too, so you can even watch live TV on your tablet whether you're on Wi-Fi at home or streaming over 3G or 4G when you're travelling or commuting.
SBS On Demand
SBS' On Demand app for Android is every bit as good as the ABC's, and has a wider range of culturally diverse programming courtesy of the multicultural broadcaster's strong focus on international communities. You'll be able to easily jump to watch last night's programming, as well as watch what other people are already viewing or sort specifically by TV shows or movies. You can even sign up to be notified when new episodes of your favourite programs are added.
Disclosure: Stan is a 50/50 joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. Allure Media, the company which publishes Gizmodo Australia, is also owned by Fairfax.