Best movie apps for iPad and iPhone in 2023

Best iPad Apps to Watch Movies

The iPad’s large screen size makes it the perfect companion to watch your favorite movies and TV shows. However, considering the extensive options in the App Store for apps to watch these movies and shows, choosing one can be rather challenging. So, I’ve curated a list of the best movie apps for iPad and iPhone.

  1. Apple TV
  2. Disney+
  3. HBO GO
  4. Tubi
  5. Netflix
  6. Amazon Prime Video
  7. Hulu
  8. Peacock TV
  9. Paramount+
  10. YouTube

1. Apple TV – Editor’s choice

Apple TV app to watch movies and videos on iPad

On a list of the best apps to watch movies on iPad or iPhone, was there ever going to be a doubt on which app would be the editor’s pick? Apple TV has improved in leaps and bounds since its launch in 2016. Moreover, with OTT content at the forefront of innovation, Apple TV has plenty of new shows and movies for you to watch!

Apple has also ensured that some much-loved originals hit the OTT platform regularly. Shows such as Ted Lasso, Greyhound, etc., have already won the hearts of critics and audiences worldwide. Furthermore, their exclusivity to Apple’s platform ensures their novelty doesn’t wear off.

In terms of the catalog, Apple TV will provide you with over 100,000 shows and movies to binge through. These shows are available at the highest quality, such as 4K HDR resolutions. You can also access Apple TV channels, such as Paramount+, Noggin, and Showtime, through the app itself. With so much excellent content streaming at the best quality, why would you go anywhere else?

However, one issue with the app is that its user interface isn’t the best. There need to be some improvements on this front to improve the user experience.

Pros

  • Great collection of original shows
  • Provides 4K HDR resolutions
  • Can access Apple TV channels

Cons

  • The user interface needs some improvement

Price: Free (Offers in-app purchases)

Download

2. Disney+ – For all things Marvel

Disney+ app to watch movies on iPad

Disney’s acquisition of Marvel in 2009 received a lukewarm reception. However, one aspect of Disney that has been growing in popularity is the Disney+ OTT platform.

Thanks to this OTT platform, it’s been much more accessible for Marvel to move from a niche, enthusiast feature to a pop culture sensation. If you’re a fan of Marvel movies and TV shows, subscribing to Disney+ is a no-brainer. This is the only app that will grant you unlimited access to the latest Marvel movies and shows.

From the first movie in the MCU, Captain America: The First Avenger, to the latest one, you’ll find all of this on the app. If you want to binge-watch movies and shows or introduce your friend to the MCU, Disney+ is your one-stop shop. However, the app is quite versatile. You’ll also find many non-Marvel shows and movies on the app.

My only gripe with the app is adding more shows and movies in multiple genres.

Pros

  • The best collection of Marvel movies and TV shows
  • The intuitive user interface provides a decent user experience

Cons

  • Needs to expand on other genres, such as anime

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $7.99)

Download

3. HBO MAX – Excellent movie collection

HBO Max app to watch movies on iPad

HBO is one of the biggest companies when it comes to the streaming of blockbuster movies. Moreover, with the company expanding its reach to multiple TV shows, the HBO MAX app offers an exquisite collection of content.

This app gives you instant access to the latest Hollywood movies and TV shows. Furthermore, the large catalog of movies ranges from cult classics to modern action flicks, ensuring that you don’t miss out on the best of any genre. You’ll also be able to stream the HBO Max Originals series through the app. The recommendations for various hubs, such as TCM and DC, are also picked by editorial experts!

HBO MAX also allows you to download different content pieces onto your iPad and iPhone. If you’re traveling and need to kill time, you’ll have easy access to your favorite shows and movies. Lastly, flexible parental controls ensure that you have full control over what your kids can access!

However, there are a couple of issues with the app. The loading times are slow, and it takes forever to switch between genres.

Pros

  • Has the latest Hollywood movies
  • Allows you to download up to 20 content pieces for offline viewing
  • Can access 5 Live TV channels

Cons

  • Streaming quality needs to be improved

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $9.99)

Download

4. Tubi – Great range of free content

Tubi app to watch movies on iPad

In the age of OTT content, finding platforms that offer free content can be quite daunting. No matter which website you go to, all of them have some form of subscription plan. However, Tubi stands out from the crowd of OTT platforms, offering a slew of content for absolutely free!

In fact, the app is also streaming the FIFA World Cup 2022 completely free. You’ll also have access to movies from top studios such as Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM. Although the app gains revenue from in-app ads, these ads are few. Moreover, the app provides over 40 genres of content to explore, from comedy to anime.

The app also provides some nice categories to simplify your search for the perfect movie or TV show. Categories such as “Not on Netflix” and movies based on the Rotten Tomatoes ratings dominate the app. This feature might seem slightly niche, but it is immensely helpful in the long run.

The only issue with the app is that movies and shows can become unavailable quickly as the app makes space for new releases. So, if you see a movie or show on Tubi that you want to watch, you won’t be able to keep it on the back burner for too long!

Pros

  • Every piece of content on the app can be accessed for free
  • Has exclusive categories for interesting movies and shows
  • Can live stream sporting events for free

Cons

  • Movies and shows become unavailable after some time

Price: Free

Download

5. Netflix – Classic OTT

Netflix app to watch movies and videos on iPad

Would this even be a list of the best apps to watch movies on iPad or iPhone if I hadn’t included Netflix? After all, the Netflix app is one of the oldest OTT platforms. Since the company was one of the earliest to introduce video on demand online, it only makes sense to mention Netflix here.

Years after the release of Netflix, the app (and company) has seen some ups and downs. However, what remains a constant is the large range of Netflix shows and movies that you can access through the app.

Additionally, the user interface is intuitive, elegant, and supplemented with a minimalist aesthetic. However, the star of the show is the algorithm. The Netflix recommendation algorithm remains top-tier and recommends some excellent movies or shows based on your previous watches.

Nonetheless, there are some improvements to be made with the app. Most notably, many shows are geo-locked and can only be viewed if you live in a particular region. Apart from this, the subscription plan pricing could be slightly cheaper.

Pros

  • Has a vast selection of content
  • The user interface is elegant and fluid
  • Decent recommendation algorithm

Cons

  • Subscription plans are a bit expensive

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $9.99)

Download

6. Amazon Prime Video – Decent original content

Amazon Prime Video app for ipad

Although it took some while for Amazon to find its footing with Prime Video, it has finally landed strong and true. The video-on-demand service has finally provided users with multiple features to rival its competitors. Moreover, the content Prime Video provides has gotten better, slowly but surely.

When using Prime Video, you’ll find plenty of movies and TV shows across various genres. However, their original content shines through movies and TV shows such as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Apart from this, there are several other features of the platform that you might like.

For instance, the website allows you to play Picture-in-Picture (PiP) as you browse through other content on the internet. You can also download a large number of videos for offline viewing. Moreover, the multi-user experience also provides each user with personalized recommendations.

Overall, this is definitely one of the best apps to watch movies on your iPad. However, a lot of their new content is locked behind additional paywalls, which can be upsetting for some users.

Pros

  • Excellent selection of original TV shows and movies
  • Picture-in-Picture use is enabled
  • Provides a multi-user experience with personalized recommendations

Cons

  • Some of the new content is locked behind paywalls

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $8.99)

Download

7. Hulu – 65+ channels with Live TV

Hulu app to watch movies on iPad

Hulu was founded in 2007 and has become a household name in the entertainment segment. With multiple new original shows, an excellent collection of movies, and a great user interface, Hulu is at the forefront of OTT platforms. However, it steals the show when it comes to live TV.

The platform offers over 65 channels with Live TV, including the likes of Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz. This means that you not only have access to whatever’s on Hulu at the time but also to multiple shows and movies being broadcasted on cable as well.

You can also create up to 6 user profiles for a more personalized experience. So, the app is perfect for sharing accounts with friends and family! However, the app does face some issues when you have to use casting options such as Chromecast.

Pros

  • Has a decent user interface
  • Great collection of original shows
  • Can access over 65 live channels, such as Cinemax and Showtime

Cons

  • It can be a bit buggy

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $7.99)

Download

8. Peacock TV – Unbeatable collection

Peacock TV app to watch movies on ipad

From the minds at NBCUniversal, we have the Peacock TV app. This is one of the most popular entertainment apps on the Apple App Store, with over a million ratings. There’s good reason for this too; the app has an excellent collection of movies, TV shows, and even live sporting events!

From the FIFA World Cup 2022 to binging on Peacock Original shows, there’s plenty of content to explore. You’ll also find movies from studios such as Universal, DreamWorks Animation, and Focus Features. You can even check out the live channels under the Peacock brand!

My only issue with the app is that it takes forever to load. The developers need to work on bettering the app’s functionality.

Pros

  • The largest collection of shows and movies you can find online
  • Can stream live sporting events

Cons

  • A bit slow to load on some devices

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $4.99)

Download

9. Paramount+ – For live viewing

Paramount+ iPad app to watch movies

With all these apps for streaming movies and TV shows on your iPad or iPhone very few apps provide exceptional live television. However, Paramount+ can be an excellent option if you need 24/7 access to live channels.

Although the app has a decent collection of movies and TV shows, counting up to tens of thousands of episodes, its true strength lies in the live coverage. With the premium plan, you’ll be granted around-the-clock news and sports coverage through CBS programming. Moreover, the content is also localized based on your region.

Live events such as NCAA March Madness and the Masters Tournament can also be streamed from the comfort of your home. Apart from this, Paramount is a renowned studio, guaranteeing you exceptional content at all times!

There’s a small issue, though – the app has a tendency to crash often. Hopefully, the developers can find a fix for this soon.

Pros

  • Perfect for viewing live sporting events such as NCAA March Madness
  • Live channels are localized and based on your region
  • Good and extensive catalog of movies

Cons

  • Tends to crash quite often

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $4.99)

Download

10. YouTube – Exceptional recommendation algorithm

YouTube app to watch movies and videos on iPad

You must have often heard of people browsing YouTube and getting lost in the various deep ends of the app. This is mostly due to YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, which catches patterns quickly and recommends videos that could cater to the viewer’s tastes. This algorithm alone makes YouTube one of the best apps for watching movies on iPad or iPhone.

It’s also believed that at least 30,000 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every hour. This means that on YouTube, you won’t face any dearth of movies or TV shows to watch. From full episodes of a series uploaded by users to obscure movies that will make you think, YouTube has it all!

Furthermore, thanks to YouTube Premium, you won’t have to deal with ads and can access hundreds of YouTube Originals TV shows. YouTube is at an elite level in terms of free and paid content. Nonetheless, the app needs some improvement as it can be buggy sometimes. From black screens to downscaling resolutions, some issues need immediate fixes.

Pros

  • The best recommendation algorithm of all apps
  • Has a mindblowing range and catalog of content
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • App has numerous bugs

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $6.99)

Download

That’s it!

So, what did you think of my list of the best movie apps for iPad and iPhone? Let me remind you that these apps can be downloaded on your iPhone too. Did I miss out on any of your favorite apps? If yes, let me know about them in the comment section below. I’ll be sure to check them out!

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