Whether you store your media library on your phone, use your data package to stream movies, or just want to watch your friend’s latest YouTube update, there are many ways to watch movies and videos on your phone. As video quality and smartphone capabilities continue to increase, it is easier than ever to watch videos in the palm of your hand. Learn more about how to watch movies on your phone, and explore the most popular movie streaming apps that are available.
To download a movie or TV series to your iPhone, follow these steps:
- Open the iTunes app from your Home Screen
- Browse or search for a specific title
- Tap the movie or TV show you’d like to watch
- Tap the Buy price.
- Tap Download to download the video to your device or tap Not Now to download it later
You can find all your movies and television shows in the Apple TV app or Video app on your Home Screen. To play your movie or show, simply hit the Play button.
To download a movie or TV series to your Android device, you can:
- Open the Play Store app from your Home Screen
- Tap Menu > Movies & TV
- Browse or search for the movie or show you’d like to watch
- Tap the movie or show to buy or rent
Once you’ve downloaded your movie or show from the Play Store app, go to the Play Movies app on your Home Screen, select what you’d like to watch, and hit Play.
Controlling data usage: WiFi, data network, and downloading
Movies require a lot of data to store all the information for both video and audio. Streaming, especially in HD, requires a strong connection, since a weak connection can quickly eat through your data.
If you don't have an unlimited data package (or extra gigabytes to spare), be sure to stream movies over WiFi to avoid using up all your data. Connecting via WiFi doesn't use any data, so you can stream to your heart's content.
Many streaming services also offer the option to download some (or all) of their content for offline viewing. Simply connect over WiFi, download the video file, and watch it later without using your data. This option is also great for when you don't have a signal at all, such as on an airplane. Just be sure that you have enough storage to download video, as filling up your phone's hard drive can cause it run slowly. A high-capacity memory card is a good investment if you're planning to download more than a few hours of video at a time.
Find great programming on streaming services
Streaming services, like Xfinity Stream, let you watch or download all your favorite content whether you’re connected to WiFi, or offline. If you need to catch up on your DVR, Xfinity Stream lets you download your DVR recordings to watch on the go, with the ability to fast forward or rewind even if you’re offline. And with access to any of Xfinity’s millions of WiFi hotspots nationwide, you can stream from almost anywhere without worrying about eating up your data.
Other popular services include YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon. YouTube can be accessed directly through the Xfinity Stream app, and the wealth of video content available is growing every day - in fact, roughly 400 hours of video are added every minute. While much of the content is free, they also offer a paid, premium service that includes ad-free video, music and video downloads, and access to YouTube original TV shows and movies.
Netflix and Amazon Video, both of which can be accessed through Xfinity X1, offer more recent content. To use these services through your X1 service, simply sign in to Netflix or access Amazon Video from the Main Menu. An active Netflix or Amazon Prime account is needed — if you don’t have a Netflix account, you can sign up for a free one-month trial directly in X1. Both services can be used to stream (and, in some cases, download) thousands of films and television series.
While the three household names mentioned are some of the more well-known players in mobile video streaming (and are all available through Xfinity services), many smaller services exist that either cater to niche programming or collect content from various other accounts and services to store in one location.
Vudu is an app that can be downloaded on mobile platforms, Sony PlayStation, tablets, and more, allowing you to use its services across all your devices. Vudu offers both free and paid movies and TV series, and it's easy to navigate and use.
Showbox is another app that offers free (and ad-free) content. It also offers subtitles on most content, making it easy to use even if you're somewhere loud or don't have your headphones.
Streaming services make it easy to download or stream individual titles to watch movies on your phone. These tips offer the best way to use your phone to watch movies without using your data or filling up your phone's hard drive.