The Must-Have Apps for Watching TV

Smart tv and hand pressing remote control

Apps are now a central part of the entertainment experience. Whether it’s movies, TV shows, sports or music, Americans consume a huge percentage of content through apps. A 2015 study by Flurry Analytics found that Americans spend an average of 198 minutes per day watching content through apps — which is more than on cable.

TVs are adapting to a new app-centric world. In addition to streaming boxes, like Apple TV, and gaming consoles, such as PlayStation 4, top brands are producing smart TVs with built-in streaming apps. Whether you’ve cut the cord on your cable subscription or you want to supplement your favorite channels, the following apps are guaranteed to satisfy your TV-watching needs:


HBO Go is an app that lets cable and satellite subscribers stream every HBO original series (including past shows like The Wire and The Sopranos) and hundreds of movies. HBO Now truly changed the game when it announced that anyone can subscribe to the service for $15 per month, even without a cable subscription. Once that happened, the app took off and other premium networks, like Showtime, followed in HBO’s footsteps.

DISH Anywhere

If you’re a satellite subscriber, you have amazing options for apps, too. As a DISH customer, you can take live TV and DVR content on the road with the DISH Anywhere app. Download the app to your smartphone and tablet or access it through a Web browser, so your subscription can travel with you anywhere.

Amazon Alexa

Have you ever settled into the couch, just to realize the remote is across the room? Well, if you have an Amazon Echo that might be a problem of the past. With Amazon’s Alexa, you can change channels, pause, and even search your Hopper for a show, simply by asking. With hands-free control of the Hopper, you can access your favorite entertainment with your voice.


It is springtime, so let’s not forget about baseball. If you’re a displaced fan, you’ll love MLB.TV. The streaming service gives you access to every out-of-market team and every game. This is perfect if you’re a New York Yankees fan living in Los Angeles or a Chicago Cubs fan living in San Francisco. You can stream games to your television and watch on your smartphone or tablet when you’re on the go.


Netflix is one of the original streaming success stories and the perfect place to watch random documentaries, binge on old TV shows, and discover new comedians and stand-up specials. But where Netflix really makes its name is original content. Shows like House of CardsOrange Is the New BlackBloodlineDaredevil and F Is for Family are what keep millions of subscribers watching. Netflix even produced its own critically acclaimed movie, Beasts of No Nation.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon’s streaming service is similar to Netflix, but with one twist: It’s free for Amazon Prime subscribers. Amazon is great for movies and TV shows, and it also produces original content, including the popular shows Transparent and The Man in the High Castle.