Streaming services are taking over the TV industry, and a big player in the market is Xbox with its streaming apps.
From education-focused apps, to gaming and communication, there is an app for everyone. Users can look through hundreds of apps using the Xbox marketplace and either purchase apps to use, or get them for free. Xbox has turned from having a primary gaming focus, to being a full entertainment center. We take a look at the top Xbox apps that are making standard TV and cable packages irrelevant.
Anything on Demand
Whereas once you’d have to turn on the TV, hope your favorite show or movie would be on, and that you’d be there to catch it from the beginning, today is different. Streaming makes everything available at all times. So if you are in the mood to watch your favorite childhood movie, or that TV episode that everyone's talking about, all you need to do is open your app of choice, select your show or movie, and enjoy.
There are some really great Xbox apps that bring everything TV has to offer, and more, straight to your console. Google has done quite the job with its YouTube app. If you aren’t by your computer or phone, or simply want to watch your favorite YouTube videos on the big screen, just open the app on your Xbox console and get watching. You can enjoy any video you want, from music videos, to inspirational talks, movie trailers, and millions of others. If you’re a YouTube Red subscriber, which costs $10 a month, you can access original content like Mind Field and Squad Wars. Other great movie and show apps are Hulu and Popcornflix. The Hulu app is exactly like its web version, which displays a selection of the latest episodes of pretty much any TV show you could want. It also has popular movies, but unlike YouTube, it costs to stream content. You can choose from a limited commercials option for $7.99 per month, or a no commercials option for $11.99. Popcornflix is a free movie app. You can browse through hundreds of movies and search by category or genre, most viewed, newly added, or scroll through popular movies on the main page. You can also select a movie and add it to your library to watch later.
There are also great options for sports fans to watch all the sports related content to their hearts’ content. Looking to catch the latest highlights? The best app, by far, is ESPN. You can watch all your favorite programs like Sportscenter live, and see game stats, replays, and clips. Using the ESPN app also grants you access to original shows like 30 for 30. Not only can you watch games, shows, and updates, but you can access your fantasy leagues so you never miss a beat.
Variety a Click Away
There are millions of documentary fans in the world, and you may be one of them. If you are, you know that the best way to find and watch the latest releases is online. Lucky for you, there are, you guessed it, apps for that!
Though an Xbox doesn't seem like an educational tool, or one that promotes learning, there are several apps to watch the latest documentaries such as Netflix and Amazon. Netflix is a must-have app. You need to pay a subscription fee, but it is well worth it when you see the amount of content, and especially the selection and variety of documentaries. Interested in the fast food industry? You’ll enjoy Food Inc. Want to learn about the science of sports? You will love Ken Burns’ Baseball. Netflix also offers first-time users a one-month free trial – a nice perk, and if you don’t love it you can cancel at any time.
If you’re searching for more original content, such as inspirational talks or presentations check out HBO Now and TED. These apps both offer content that’s thought provoking, inspirational, and scientifically backed. HBO Now has a large selection of documentaries that are both interesting and educational. It also has everything from newer TV series, to iconic classics, HBO movies, and other programs. TED is another fantastic app, with presenters who will teach you about anything from scientific theories, to confidence building, tips for public speaking, the power of motivation, and so much more. This well-known organization has speakers ranging from artists to scientists, presenting before an audience and sharing their insights and life tips. The TED Xbox app offers users a selection of over 1,500 talks from some of the world’s most brilliant people — techies, medical geniuses, music legends, and education leaders. TED talks are insightful, motivating, and downright entertaining.
TV and Beyond
Xbox streaming apps are taking over TV by making movies, shows, and documentaries available at all times, but that’s not all. These apps also allows users to do anything they would do to entertain themselves in front of their TV screens.
Xbox wouldn’t be Xbox without a gaming component, so it’s no surprise that uber successful gaming livestream company Twitch has an app. Not only does it have an app, but it’s an extremely popular and highly downloaded app at that. The Amazon-owned Twitch allows viewers to watch people play video games. Why would someone want to do that? It’s hard to comprehend, but gaming enthusiasts explain it as “a totally different experience.” From the app you can watch broadcasters livestream, watching anything from game-play to talk shows.
Users even say that it’s in some ways more fun than watching a sports game or a movie. A big reason for its popularity though, is that it’s a good way to see and preview games before taking the plunge and buying them. You can also stream your own gaming experiences through the app.
It’s news to many, but you can use your console to stay in touch through communication apps like messaging apps and video calling apps. With Skype, you can video call with a single person or start a group chat. Whether discussing sports game results, dividing up tasks for a work project, organizing a family vacation or just saying hi to a friend, it’s all super easy.
Onwards and Appwards
There are millions of Xbox apps out there, all offering something unique. From educational and documentary apps, to gaming and sports related ones, there really is an app for everyone.