Speedy Apps: Find the Movies and Shows You Want To Watch Faster

April 2016: Here’s the usual way to find something you want to watch on a service like Netflix or Hulu: go to the site, click through the categories or use the annoying on-screen keyboard. Can’t find what you want? Repeat on the next site.

Stop doing that! There’s a better way. Use these free web and mobile apps that let you search just once. They tell you where your movie or TV show is currently streaming, what it costs (if anything) and what reviewers have to say about it. Click, click, watch:

Fan.TV is the most robust of the movie and show search apps, and it’s available on iOS, Android and also as a web app. You don’t have to create an account, but if you do, you can personalize your results — choose the streaming sites you want searched (there are currently 51 sites to choose from plus the All Services default setting), enter your TV provider so you can also get TV results, and track what you’ve searched, seen and want to see later. Each movie page includes ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic that you can explore further from within the Fan.TV app including, movie details, cast and crew information, video clips, stills, the soundtrack (if there is one) and similar movies.

But the best part is the Watch Now section. Click on an available option and start watching the movie or show immediately on the same device. If a streaming option isn’t available on your device, you’ll get instructions on what to do next. If you have to pay to view it, you’ll be sent directly to the streaming site’s payment window. And if you want to stream it on a different device, either now or later, you will know where to find it and how much it costs.

Fan.TV also has a browse section with categories like free movies and movies playing in theaters now in addition to typical Features and Genres. Click the eyeball button to add any movie or show to your watch list.

Yahoo Video Guide
Yahoo’s app is like a pared down, faster version of Fan.TV. It’s available on Android and iOS but not on your computer. While there are fewer in-app features and a lot of the links lead to websites or other apps, the streamlined feel and super-speedy interface are fun to use and easy to navigate even though some of the buttons are tiny. You can personalize your results, follow links to Rotten Tomatoes reviews and access your movie or show directly from within the app. It also includes some nifty features like the Mood Picker.

Other app options do similar things. Check out Can I Stream It for simple searches, links to streaming sites and to set up notifications for when a movie or show is available on a specific streaming site. Be aware that the results don’t always include most recent show episodes. IMDb is an industry favorite with web, iOS and Android versions and includes extras like plot summaries, trivia, box-office results, technical specs and links to where you can watch select streaming services. NextGuide.tv delivers your search results in a snap (like Google for movies), has links and lets you create lists.

With all these options to choose from, your streaming searches transform from tedious to fast!

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