The best entertainment apps on Android in 2023 – Android Police
Explore the various ways to keep yourself occupied with these entertainment apps on Android
At this point, Android smartphones have made it nearly impossible to be bored. Spending time navigating the Google Play Store, there are thousands of entertainment apps available for use. There's something for just about anyone, from various video and audio streaming platforms to editorial and games. You don't even have to worry if you're using a budget device, either, as many of these entertainment apps don't require high-end Android phones or tablets to operate.
So before getting overwhelmed by everything Google Play Store has to offer, here's a handy roundup of the best entertainment apps on Android right now.
One of the most diverse video streaming services available, Hulu is known for its mix of on-demand releases of recently aired television shows, various films, and original content. On a base subscription level of $7.99 a month, users get access to a wide range of television series in addition to different films with ads. For a monthly $14 fee, users get everything minus intrusive ads. One of the best deals is the $69.99 Hulu + Live TV with Disney+ and ESPN that grans everything in the base tiers alongside access to live television and access to Disney+ and ESPN.
Attitudes about the usefulness of streaming video games via the internet are still polarizing at this point. However, this hasn’t stopped Microsoft from pushing its xCloud initiative through Xbox Game Pass. Though it's not recommended to play faster pace shooters or racing games unless one has a really fast and strong connection, there are still plenty of games available that are slower-paced, and thanks to a new PWA 1080p streams and more stability are here, further improving the service. Most importantly, xCloud has a library of games that work great with a touchscreen or controller so that you can play on the go or at home quite easily.
Serving as one of the largest growing social media platforms, TikTok is home to various short 15-second videos. With over 1 billion daily users, viral video content usually ranges from funny memes to music-inspired challenges. TikTok’s music functionality is popular enough that many artists use the platform as a serious promotional tool, including Lil Nas X and Priscilla Block. Creating videos on the platform is intuitive despite the sheer amount of tools available.
The Amazon subsidiary features an incredibly large library of audiobooks and podcasts that can be listened to through purchase or subscription. Then there are Audible Originals featuring celebrity talent, including Kevin Hart and Kerry Washington. At the base $7.95-a-month Audible Premium plan, users get a large selection of audiobooks and podcasts, alongside other useful audio features like meditation and sleep tracks. The higher $14.95 Audible Premium Plus, grants all that is included in the base subscription alongside the choice of one selected audiobook.
Amazon’s e-book service offers nearly three million titles, split between everything from novels and mangas to periodicals. For $9.99 a month, users can subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, which allows users to borrow up to 20 titles alongside full magazine subscriptions that won’t count toward borrowing limits. Amazon Prime members have access to around a thousand titles for free as well.
Individuals who simply want to watch television on their Android devices without worrying about subscription fees will definitely enjoy Pluto TV. The free streaming service offers more than 250 channels alongside movies and television shows that can be watched on demand. Some of these changes include Newsmax, CNN, CBS News, People TV, and much more. Of course, the free nature of Pluto TV includes a heavy reliance on intrusive ads.
No doubt, Spotify is the biggest and most popular music streaming service on the planet. Besides offering music and podcasts, there’s a really cool social media aspect that gives insight into what your friends and family are into. On the free side of things, expect lower music quality alongside a smaller music library. Meanwhile, the $9.99 Spotify Premium plan removes ads and offers higher music quality.
Netflix on mobile is more than just watching a mix of films, television series, and original content. There’s also a lovely selection of mobile games available for subscribers. These titles include Stranger Things 3: The Game, Moonlighter, Xtreme Asphalt, and many, many more. When it comes to video content, users of the app have the ability to download movies and shows to view later without an internet connection, which is undoubtedly handy when traveling.
Before the eventual merger of HBO Max and Discovery+, HBO Max is still definitely one of the best subscription-based video streaming services out there. The service features content from HBO and Warner Bros. libraries alongside various content from DC Entertainment. HBO Max also features some movies that may be in theaters for the price of $9.99 a month, allowing anyone to view these movies early for a low price.
YouTube is the largest video streaming service that’s based around user-submitted content. There are millions of videos containing a wide range of various interests. Android users already entrenched in the Google ecosystem can enjoy other services tied to YouTube, including YouTube Premium, YouTube Kids, YouTube Music, and YouTube TV. It's a versatile service that offers many different tiers and features, so there's a good chance no matter your needs, you'll find content that suits your interests.
Starting at $40 a month, Sling TV is one of the best live television services available today. Besides offering local channels, the base level Blue or Orange package feature over 30 channels, ranging from CNN to ESPN on one device. A $50 combination package provides users with over 41 channels to choose from over three devices. There’s also an option to add on additional channels and rent from their movie catalog. Most importantly, Sling TV provides 50 hours of DVR storage alongside an incredibly intuitive way to access your recordings.
Android users settled within Amazon’s ecosystem and already have a yearly Prime subscription should definitely make sure Amazon Prime Video is on their device. Users outside of that can get everything the service has to offer for $8.99 per month. Featuring one of the largest streaming libraries there are around 30,000 pieces of content divided between original films and television shows alongside various studio releases. Amazon Prime Video users also have the option to rent newer and past releases alongside subscribe to other streaming services including Showtime Now and BET.
Compared to other music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, listening to tunes through Pandora is more of a passive experience. If a playlist or music revolving around an artist and their particular style of music is all one cares about, then the free tier may be good enough. Individuals who are a bit more particular about their music listening experience should try the $4.99 Pandora Plus or $9.99 Pandora Premium plans which offer capabilities like unlimited skipping and no advertisement.
If using any of the above music and video streaming apps, be sure to download whatever is needed before heading out for the day. That also goes for e-books as well, even though one whole novel only takes around 4MB. When possible, also try to use wifi instead of mobile data. Streaming apps can chew through your data, so please be careful when utilizing a limited data plan. If out on the town and mobile data connection is on the spotty side, be sure to lower the resolution for video or bitrate if using a music streaming app. Some hotel room televisions will also let you screen mirror from an Android device, which is handy when you have all your favorite entertainment apps in your pocket.
Ural Garrett is an Inglewood, CA-based journalist and content curator. His byline has been featured in outlets including CNN, MTVNews, Complex, TechRadar, LA Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter and more.