The iPad is often referred to as a 'consumption device,' which means a device intended for the consumption of media. And while this is not altogether correct -- there are many great uses for the iPad -- it does make a great device for reading books and watching movies. But before you can really take advantage of the iPad, you need which are the best apps for streaming movies and video to your iPad.
Crackle is a relative newcomer to the field of streaming video on the iPad, but it shoots to the top of the list for one very simple reason: it's free. Not only is it a free download, but it also doesn't take a subscription fee to watch premier movies and television. Owned by Sony Pictures, Crackle has a lot of great content, including some great programming produced solely for Crackle.
While the Netflix app for the iPad resembles a cheaply produced iPhone app rather than a full fledged and fully functional iPad app, it does reign supreme in one department: it's ability to stream great video to your iPad. And because the app supports the video out functionality of the iPad, it really comes to life if you have your iPad connected to your TV. With a great collection of movies and TV, Netflix is sure to keep you entertained. The streaming-only subscription cost for Netflix is $7.99.
The Hulu Plus app takes some flack for both requiring a subscription cost ($7.99 a month) and having commercials within the video playback, but one thing few can argue with is its presentation. Compared to Netflix's watered down interface, Hulu Plus is quite a dream to use. The app does lack some key features, such as video out support. And soon after the iPad 2's release, Hulu hijacked the ability to do display mirroring, flinging a message to the screen saying they were working on a feature to bring video to the television.
YouTube was one of the default apps on the iPad until iOS 6.0. Now, you can find an improved version of the app in the App Store. While YouTube videos will play perfectly fine from within the website in the Safari browser, the YouTube app presents a superior interface for browsing through videos and picking out the best ones to watch.
It doesn't take an app to provide excellent streaming video service to the iPad, as FunnyOrDie.com proves. The same great comedy found on the website can easily be viewed with the iPad. And because the website supports iPad video, it supports the video out capabilities of the iPad. FunnyOrDie.com also offers HD version of their videos, so if you do stream them to your TV, they'll look fantastic.
There are many other great websites that support iPad video without the need for an app, but FunnyOrDie.com certainly tops the list.
A video aggregator is an app that gathers up free videos from across the web and gives you a single interface for viewing them. And as video aggregators go, Showyou is one of the best on the iPad. Rather than try to present a unique spin on the video aggregator, Showyou has a rather simple interface, which makes it easy to find videos to watch when other aggregators often make it more difficult.
A video aggregator with a twist, Vodio allows you to choose the subjects you want to watch like Tech, Movies, Music and Entertainment and then arranges the videos for you. This is a great app for those who simply want to watch a stream of videos without needing to hunt down specific titles. The interface is a little more clumsy when it comes to hunting down individual videos, but for those who want a video app that will play like a TV channel, it's a must-have download.
Frequency is another good video aggregator with a relatively simple interface. In frequency, you choose different websites like The Onion, Boing Boing and Space.com to make up your channel list. You can then easily browse videos from these sources, check out the newest videos or watch from the archive.
In addition to premium services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, free movies like Crackle, free video from YouTube and video aggregators like Showyou, many different TV channels from broadcast TV to cable networks have iPad apps that show video clips and full-length videos. Most of the premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) have companion apps with a large amount of content you can access by verifying your cable subscription, and many different cable providers like Verizon FIOS and Time Warner have apps that include the ability to watch a select number of channels live.