The 5 Best Android Apps For Live TV In 2023

A whole generation of TV viewers has come up since cord-cutters began eschewing traditional cable for streaming and online content. Since those early days, cord-cutting has evolved and become an even more feasible option thanks to the proliferation of live TV apps that allow you to recreate the olden days of channel surfing without even needing an actual television set. 

Live TV apps have an advantage over streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video because they provide popular live content like news, sports, and awards shows. The last few years have seen apps like Peacock and Paramount+ carve out their own share of the market, but their live channels are limited to the ones owned by their parent companies (like NBC and CBS, respectively). There's also a growing plethora of sports-specific apps, giving sports fans more options for catching every game. For viewers who want a broader range of channels, there are plenty of solid options that include Android support, allowing mobile users to watch what they want, when they want.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV was one of the first major apps to bring streaming live TV to the mainstream and it has only refined its services since its debut. The offering currently boasts over 85 channels in its base plan, one of the largest selections you can get from a streaming app. This includes your local PBS station, one of the surprisingly few services to offer this. 

Even in its earliest days, YouTube TV was clearly making a play for sports fans and remains a great choice for them in 2023. In addition to offering 4K options for tons of games, it's currently the only app where you can find NFL Sunday Ticket. YouTube TV also offers a smaller yet still impressive tier of Spanish-language content.

YouTube TV has a clean, intuitive interface. Because it's owned by Google, it seamlessly integrates with your Google account. On the downside, YouTube TV is one of the priciest streaming options out there. The base plan is currently $73 per month and there are add-on channels and other à la carte premium options that increase the cost by offering a greater selection of content.

Hulu + Live TV

Of all the apps on this list, Hulu + Live TV is the only one to integrate a major streamer into its core services, giving you access to original content. Since Disney bought Fox and a majority ownership in Hulu in 2019, Hulu + Live TV now also includes ad-supported versions of Disney+ and ESPN+ in its base package.

But if you're shopping for live TV, these perks may not be as important to you as the channels you can stream in real time. In that regard, Hulu offers over 80 channels in its base plan at the time of writing. Because Disney owns ABC, FOX, FX, National Geographic, and several other major networks, you don't have to worry about these channels suddenly disappearing from Hulu's roster in a contract dispute. You can also add premium and other add-on channels for additional costs.

Hulu + Live TV's base plan is $70 per month, one of the more expensive options offered. In addition to including Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ alongside its live TV, the base plan allows for unlimited cloud DVR and two simultaneous screens per account. For an additional $15 per month, you can boost that to unlimited simultaneous screens, which makes Hulu + Live TV an attractive option for bigger households willing to spend the extra cash.

Sling TV

If you're looking for a streaming app that is a little more customizable, Sling TV might be a good choice; it offers two distinct base packages — Orange and Blue — each with different channels and features. Both plans offer add-ons you can pay for, and you can also subscribe to both plans at once for a discount.

At the time of writing, Sling TV is more affordable than YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV. The Orange tier is $40 per month for 30+ channels, while Blue is $45 per month with 10 additional channels. For $50 per month, you can get both plans. Additionally, Sling TV offers a free service similar to Pluto TV and related services called Freestream, which allows you to watch a feed of free channels and includes limited on-demand content.

Combining Orange with the Sports Extra add-on allows sports fans to catch games on various networks. One major downside to Sling TV is the lack of unlimited DVR; the base plan only includes 50 hours, and paying an additional $5 per month only increases that limit to 200 hours. The Blue plan allows for three screens and the Orange plan only allows one at a time. The lack of user profiles also means Sling TV might not be the best choice if you're planning on sharing the account with your household.

Philo TV

Philo TV is an option you should consider if you're looking to stream live TV on a budget. At $25 per month, it's one of the most affordable options offered for true live TV streaming. That price is for its one sole tier, which includes 70+ channels, though you can customize the basic plan with premium and add-on channels. 

Of course, this relatively low cost comes with some disadvantages when compared to the pricier competition. The channels offered in the basic plan don't include any live sports or major news networks. Considering a lot of cord-cutters look to live TV apps to fill the news and sports gaps in their content, Philo TV might not be the best choice for them.

However, for a modestly-priced live TV app, Philo TV does have a few perks, including unlimited DVR stored in the cloud, the ability to stream on three different screens at once, and a maximum of 10 individual user profiles. If you use those perks and split the cost between members of your household, you could be paying just a few bucks a month for live TV.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers viewers 250+ channels for free. What's the catch? Most of these channels aren't live TV in the traditional sense, but rather a continuous stream of curated content. For example, "The Walking Dead" channel plays nonstop episodes of "The Walking Dead." While some channels are the same as what you'd get from watching cable, like MTV, a lot of others like CNN and CBS News are a curated playlist of clips and episodes from those networks. 

Anyone looking for live sports or news will likely want to look somewhere else, though there are plenty of lifestyle and entertainment channels. But, because this service is free, you can expect repetitive ads breaking up the content every few minutes. If you're willing to put up with these limitations, Pluto TV can be a very useful service for cord-cutters. 

Unlike most platforms, you don't need to create an account to view content. In addition to its live offerings, it's also got a decent amount of on-demand movies and TV shows. Because Pluto TV is owned by Paramount, you can get several fan-favorite shows like "Star Trek" and "Degrassi."