How to Watch Movies on an Android Phone - dummies

How to Watch Movies on an Android Phone

By Dan Gookin

It’s not possible to watch “real” TV on your Android phone, but a few apps come close. The YouTube app is handy for watching random, meaningless drivel, which makes it a lot like TV. Then there’s the Play Movies & TV app, which lets you buy and rent real movies and TV shows from the Google Play Store.

And when you tire of those apps, you can use the Camera app with the front-facing camera to pretend that you’re the star of your own reality TV show.

Watching YouTube

YouTube is the Internet phenomenon that proves that real life is indeed too boring and random for television. Or is that the other way around? Regardless, you can view the latest videos on YouTube — or contribute your own — by using the YouTube app on your Android phone.

Search for videos in the YouTube app by touching the Search icon. Type the video name, a topic, or any search terms to locate videos. Zillions of videos are available.


The YouTube app displays suggestions for any channels to which you’re subscribed, which allows you to follow favorite topics or YouTube content providers.

  • Use the YouTube app to view YouTube videos, rather than use the Chrome app to visit the YouTube website.

  • Orient the phone horizontally to view the video in a larger size.

  • Because you have a Google account, you also have a YouTube account. Log in to your YouTube account when using the YouTube app: Touch the Action Overflow icon and choose the Sign In command. Log in if you haven’t already. Otherwise, you see your account information, your videos, and any video subscriptions.

  • Not all YouTube videos are available for viewing on mobile devices.

Renting movies

You can use the Google Play Store not only to buy apps and books for your phone but also to rent movies. Open the Play Movies & TV app, found in the apps drawer.

Renting or purchasing a movie is done at the Play Store, and it works just like purchasing an app. Choose a movie or TV show to rent or buy. Touch the price button, and then choose your method of payment.

Movies and shows rented at the Play Store are available for viewing for up to 30 days after you pay the rental fee. After you start the movie, you can pause and watch it again and again during a 24-hour period.

If your phone features an HDMI out port, you can view videos on an HDMI monitor or TV. All you need is an extremely overpriced cable to make it happen.