What are the best app alternatives to cable?

Though it'll likely take years for cable to die completely, more and more folks are cutting the cord and opting for streaming services instead, and many networks are taking notice and offering their own apps.

Here are our favorite apps for cutting the cord and freefalling into TV bliss.


Might as well start off with the most obvious one. Netflix set the tone for streaming content and forever changed the way people watch the shows they love.

Netflix updates its library monthly and you'll see different content depending on your location, but you get awesome movies, awesome TV shows, and some truly stellar original programming (see: Daredevil). If you want more TV than you can handle for under $10 a month, then look no further.

Available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.


HBO NOW differs from the HBO GO app in that you don't need to have any cable subscription or TV packages. You just subscribe to NOW and you get everything that HBO currently has to offer.

That's more Westworld, Game of Thrones, and… you know… I'm sure they have other shows.

A subscription is $14.99 per month and only available in the U.S. for now. The app is available for iPhone and iPad and comes pre-installed on 4th generation Apple TVs (U.S. only).


Like HBO and Netflix, Starz has some fantastic original series, and for $8.99 a month, you can download all of them, as well as big-time movies, so that you can take it all with you wherever you go.

Watch shows like Outlander, Black Sails, Ash vs. Evil Dead, and more, and download them and save them to watch on your schedule.

Available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV; only in the U.S.


If you're someone who likes to legally download movies and TV shows and you have a huge home server filled with content, Plex is your mobile gateway.

You'll need the free Plex media server software on your computer first, and with the app, you'll be able to stream your media to all of your devices.

There's an app available for iPhone and iPad, as well as Apple TV. You can also opt for a premium subscription ($4.99 a month), which allows you to sync files to your devices for offline viewing, as well as other features, like parental controls, trailers, and other extras.


Hulu is an app similar to Netflix in that you can stream a plethora of TV series and movies, but unlike Netflix, Hulu gives you the latest episodes of many of the most popular TV shows around. So you can keep up-to-date and spoiler-free without having to subscribe to a cable package.

Hulu also offers past seasons of great shows like Seinfeld, South Park, CSI, and more. You can control what the kids see and watch many of your favorite series in HD.

Hulu is only available in the U.S. There's an app for iPhone and iPad, as well as one for Apple TV. Subscriptions are $7.99 a month for limited commercials and $13.99 for no commercials.

TV app for Apple TV

Think of the TV app for Apple TV as a sort of modern museum for all of your streaming apps. It curates everything in one place for you so that, rather than having to hop apps over to HBO NOW when you want to watch Veep after watching Stranger Things on Netflix, you can just view everything in the one app.

Siri's also integrated so you can call up shows and movies with your voice instead of having to use that tediously infuriating touch pad to type (seriously, who the hell thought that was a good idea?!).

The TV app will also make suggestions for you, making new favorites that much easier to discover.

The best part? It's baked right into tvOS, so just make sure you have the latest software update and it's there for you.


Sick and tired of all the crap? Popular TV not really your style? Then check out FilmStruck, which is a film-lover's dream, housing content from Turner Classic Movies to please fans of classic movies and arthouse films.

Watch oldies like Metropolis, A Hard Day's Night, and more, while enjoying newer artsy films like Amelie, Clerks (yeah, Clerks; go figure), Moulin Rouge and more.

The library is constantly refreshed and more than 80 movies are added each month. The best part? IT'S ALL FREE.

Reuters TV

Amid all the movies and TV shows, you probably want to keep up with current events and who better than the world's foremost news organization to help you out?

The Reuters TV app is available for Apple TV, as well as iPhone and iPad, and for $1.99 a month, you can get all the video news you need to keep up with the world.

The absolute best feature is your ability to choose the duration of your news program. Tell the app how much time you have, from 5 to 30 minutes, and it'll put together a newscast for you.

Your favorite?

What have you used to cut the cord? Do you miss cable? Let us know in the comments below!