Netflix is the most popular streaming online video application available. For home viewing devices, the service boasts an impressive streaming library and a low monthly payment of $7.99. Competing streaming video applications like Hulu Plus or Amazon’s online service haven’t been able to keep up with Netflix’s popularity on mobile platforms. While the accessibility of the Netflix application is easy, the streaming quality varies from poor to okay at best. Dealing with low quality streaming is an annoying hurdle Netflix must address. Additional issues that should be considered are limited video titles available for mobile streaming and a recent update causing a force-close error on certain devices.
2. Hulu Plus
Hulu Plus is a free-to-use app that streams select television shows and movies to mobile devices. While the app is free, you must be a Hulu Plus subscriber to use many of app’s functions. Users report both good and poor experiences: the available streaming selection is enough for some but severely limited for others. Its biggest draw remains the television shows, but some users may be turned off by the number of advertisements during playback. Fans of Hulu Plus on other devices will more than likely feel at home with this app, while newcomers might be hesitant to subscribe.
3. Little Piano
The Little Piano app for the Kindle Fire is a free mini-keyboard. Keyboard apps remain a popular choice for mobile platforms, and it’s easy to see why. Apps like Little Piano offer the instrument’s sound with simple usability. The biggest draw with Little Piano is its appeal to children and the occasional adult. The selection of songs is limited and users may get bored with playing the same tunes over again. However, it’s unlikely that the creators had the adult audience in mind during development. The Little Piano is clearly a favorite among children and should easily keep the little tykes entertained for hours with sounds and melodies.
The Redbox application lets users find local Redbox kiosks and reserve movies and video games available to rent. It doesn’t stream movies to mobile devices, but it lets you reserve up to five different titles guaranteeing their availability upon pick up. Considering its simple functionality, few users have any problem using this app. It allows for quick use and an easy interface that’s optimized for Kindle Fire. However, users that aren’t savvy to renting movies through Redbox would find little use for an application that doesn’t stream to their device.
5. Scanner Radio
Scanner Radio is a free application that streams more than 2,900 scanners used by public safety officials, air traffic controllers, weather services, and railroad companies. Users familiar with scanners and scanner applications will understand their way around it. Some users, however, have noted difficulty getting the scanner to recognize different locations and the GPS functionality with the Kindle Fire. Listeners experience a clear sound from most scanners, remarking an improvement over most other scanner applications. The interface is also clean with precise controls and directions for picking up scanners. Scanner Radio is a top choice for streaming simplicity with scanners.
6. Movies by Flixster
Flixster Movies is a multi-faceted entertainment application that lets users access show times, read movie reviews, browse through hundreds of titles to add to your Netfix queue, and even stream whole movies right to your device. While most other apps feature one or two of those features, Flixster Movies rises above the competition by serving as a Swiss Army Knife for entertainment, offering many features in one location. The secret of the app’s success is in its simplicity. Users report positive experiences with this application. The biggest drawback is the application’s inability to stream on WiFi-only devices.