Since we’re always on the go these days, many of us don’t have a chance to watch TV at home. But with smartphones and tablets as prevalent as they are and with nearly every major cable company offering an app that can stream TV, there’s no reason to miss your favorite shows anymore—no matter where you are.

ProviderAppTV GuideRemote ControlManage DVRAverage Rating (of 5)
AT&T U-verseU-verseYesYesYesiOS: 1.7 Stars (1.7 / 5)
Android: 3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)
CoxCox ContourYesNoNoiOS: 2.3 Stars (2.3 / 5)
Android: 2.9 Stars (2.9 / 5)
DIRECTVDIRECTVYesYesYesiOS: 4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)
Android: 4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)
DISHDISH AnywhereYesNoYesiOS: 3.3 Stars (3.3 / 5)
Android: 4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)
FrontierFrontierTVYesNoAndroid onlyiOS: 1.7 Stars (1.7 / 5)
Android: 1.8 Stars (1.8 / 5)
OptimumOptimumYesYesYesiOS: 1.6 Stars (1.6 / 5)
Android: 3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)
SpectrumSpectrum TVYesYesYesiOS: 1.6 Stars (1.6 / 5)
Android: 3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)
XfinityXfinity StreamYesSeparate iOS and Android appYesiOS: 3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)
Android: 3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)
ProviderAT&T U-verse
AppU-verse
TV GuideYes
Remote ControlYes
Manage DVRYes
Average Rating (of 5)iOS: 1.7 Stars (1.7 / 5)
Android: 3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)
ProviderCox
AppCox Contour
TV GuideYes
Remote ControlNo
Manage DVRNo
Average Rating (of 5)iOS: 2.3 Stars (2.3 / 5)
Android: 2.9 Stars (2.9 / 5)
ProviderDIRECTV
AppDIRECTV
TV GuideYes
Remote ControlYes
Manage DVRYes
Average Rating (of 5)iOS: 4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)
Android: 4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)
ProviderDISH
AppDISH Anywhere
TV GuideYes
Remote ControlNo
Manage DVRYes
Average Rating (of 5)iOS: 3.3 Stars (3.3 / 5)
Android: 4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)
ProviderFrontier
AppFrontierTV
TV GuideYes
Remote ControlNo
Manage DVRAndroid only
Average Rating (of 5)iOS: 1.7 Stars (1.7 / 5)
Android: 1.8 Stars (1.8 / 5)
ProviderOptimum
AppOptimum
TV GuideYes
Remote ControlYes
Manage DVRYes
Average Rating (of 5)iOS: 1.6 Stars (1.6 / 5)
Android: 3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)
ProviderSpectrum
AppSpectrum TV
TV GuideYes
Remote ControlYes
Manage DVRYes
Average Rating (of 5)iOS: 1.6 Stars (1.6 / 5)
Android: 3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)
ProviderXfinity
AppXfinity Stream
TV GuideYes
Remote ControlSeparate iOS and Android app
Manage DVRYes
Average Rating (of 5)iOS: 3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)
Android: 3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)

Data collected 11/15/2017.

AT&T U-verse Viewing App

iOS: 1.7 Stars (1.7 / 5)
Android: 3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)

AT&T U-verse

AT&T U-verse Streaming App: U-verse
Available for iOS and Android
View All AT&T U-verse Mobile Apps

Wins

  • Excellent Ratings—This is one of the highest-rated provider apps, especially for iOS devices, which generally means you can expect good support and functionality.
  • Apple Watch App—Support for the Apple Watch means you can control your DVR without even unlocking your phone.
  • Powerful Remote Function—The U-verse app’s remote control feature offers a lot of control that other apps lack. In many ways, it mirrors the functions of a regular, dedicated remote, which is great for folks trying to consolidate.

Losses

  • Funky Design—This is just our preference, but we find the color scheme of the app to be a little distracting and garish. That blue is bright.
  • Poor Filters in Channel Guide—Filtering the channel guide doesn’t always work as intended. Users have complained that filtering by “New” doesn’t always show new items and that entries can sometimes get mixed up.
Cox Contour App

iOS: 2.3 Stars (2.3 / 5)
Android: 2.9 Stars (2.9 / 5)

Cox

Cox Streaming App: Cox Contour
Available for iOS and Android
View All Cox Mobile Apps

Wins

  • Great Channel Guide—The guide has a readable, clean layout on smartphones that makes it easy to find the show you want to watch.
  • Movie Rentals—The Cox Contour app allows you to watch rented or purchased movies on your mobile device, which is great for long flights or just chilling on your back porch.
  • Customizable Guide—You can easily filter which types of programs appear in your guide, so finding what you want to watch is a piece of cake.

Losses

  • Limited On-the-Go Selection—Full-channel access requires you to be on a Cox Wi-Fi connection. Away from home, you only get a limited number of channels.
  • Poor Tablet Interface—The layout that works so well on phones works poorly on tablets. It’s readable, but there is a lot of wasted space in the design, especially when it comes to the channel guide.
DIRECTV App

iOS: 4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)
Android: 4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)

DIRECTV

DIRECTV Streaming App: DIRECTV
Available for iOS and Android
View All DIRECTV Mobile Apps

Wins

  • Apple Watch App—Apple Watch functionality lets you control your TV from your wrist.
  • Simple Video Transfer—Easily send video from your device to your TV so you can pick up right where you left off.
  • Premium Content—The DIRECTV app offers the latest releases from channels like HBO® and Cinemax®.

Losses

  • Slow Operation—Users have found the app to be a little sluggish during normal use.
  • Specific Equipment Requirements—To make use of the DVR streaming features, you need a specific model of Genie DVR (the internet-connected HR44 or better, to be exact). Customers with other DVRs are out of luck.
DISH Anywhere App

iOS: 3.3 Stars (3.3 / 5)
Android: 4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)

DISH

DISH Streaming App: DISH Anywhere
Available for iOS and Android
View All DISH Mobile Apps

Wins

  • Watch Offline—DISH lets you transfer DVR recordings from your Hopper DVR to your phone and watch offline.
  • Full DVR Management—You can fully control your DVR library right from the app.
  • Tablet App—DISH offers a tablet app for Android, allowing you to watch TV on a larger screen than your phone while still being portable.

Losses

  • Occasional Playback Issues—Some users have complained about poor performance and choppy playback, but it doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue.
  • Specific DVR Requirements—Like the DIRECTV app, DISH’s app requires a specific DVR model to transfer DVR recordings for offline viewing. In this case, it’s a Hopper DVR with built-in Sling technology.
Frontier TV App

iOS: 1.7 Stars (1.7 / 5)
Android: 1.8 Stars (1.8 / 5)

Frontier

Frontier Streaming App: FrontierTV
Available for iOS and Android
View All Frontier Mobile Apps

Wins

  • iPad Support—Frontier’s app is compatible with the iPad, so you can easily take advantage of your big screen. If there’s one thing iPads are good for, it’s media consumption.
  • Parental Controls—Limit the programming your kids can watch so they aren’t exposed to anything inappropriate through the Frontier app.

Losses

  • Lack of Features—The Frontier mobile app is a little barebones right now. The company claims that additional features are coming soon, but as of right now, the app is behind the competition.
  • No DVR Management on iOS Devices—The DVR management features are currently only available on Android devices, which is unfortunate.
Optimum TV App

iOS: 1.6 Stars (1.6 / 5)
Android: 3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)

Optimum

Optimum Streaming App: Optimum
Available for iOS and Android
View All Optimum Mobile Apps

Wins

  • Full Parental Controls—Set up restrictions on what your kids can watch right in the app.
  • Access to On-Demand Content—Both free and premium on-demand content are available on the go.
  • Rating and Recommendation System—The Optimum app allows users to rate programs, which helps create personalized recommendations of shows to watch.

Losses

  • Underwhelming Interface—The app’s color schemes and overall design feel a little lacking. On phones, very little information is displayed, especially in the guide.
  • Poor Ratings and Complaints—The app has a pretty low rating on iTunes, with many of the complaints centered around freezes and inability to watch TV. Not everyone has these issues, so your mileage may vary.
Charter Spectrum TV App

iOS: 1.6 Stars (1.6 / 5)
Android: 3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)

Spectrum

Spectrum Streaming App: Spectrum TV
Available for iOS and Android
View All Spectrum Mobile Apps

Wins

  • Tablet Compatibility—An iPad and Android tablet app make it easy to enjoy Spectrum on the go.
  • Easy Search Function—The app’s search function is easy to use and powerful, making finding your favorite show a snap.
  • Parental Controls—You can set parental controls for your DVR right from the app.

Losses

  • Poor Ratings—The Spectrum app is just rated low overall. Common complaints include lack of available channels and frequent downtime.
  • Incomplete Channel Lineup—Channel availability varies by market, so you might find that some of your favorite channels are missing.
xfinity stream app

iOS: 3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)
Android: 3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)

Xfinity

Xfinity Streaming App: XFINITY Stream
Available for iOS and Android
View All Xfinity Mobile Apps

Wins

  • Interface—The Xfinity Stream app has a great, easy-to-use interface.
  • Apple Watch Compatibility—You can use your watch as a remote control. This is perfect for quickly changing the channel without grabbing your phone.
  • Offline Playback—You can download your Xfinity X1 DVR recordings and watch them offline, which makes the app great for road trips or flights where you don’t want to pay for Wi-Fi.

Losses

  • Limited Channel Access on the Go—You can only access your entire channel lineup for streaming if you’re on a home Xfinity Wi-Fi connection.
  • No Built-In Remote—If you don’t have an Apple Watch, you’ll have to download the separate Xfinity TV Remote app (iOS/Android) to control playback.

Streaming Services

Whether you want to cut the cord completely or just supplement your regular TV subscription, there are a number of services that offer either live TV or on-demand content for fairly low prices.

Netflix TV App

Netflix has developed a reputation as one of the kings of streaming. Although Netflix doesn’t do live TV, it does offer several excellent original series, including Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, and House of Cards. Netflix’s app is in dire need of a redesign in our opinion, but it still works.

Download Netflix for iOS and Android.

Hulu Streaming App

Hulu now offers live TV for an additional fee, and you can also still see shows a day or two after they air with a regular subscription. The Hulu app was redesigned earlier this year and has a sleek look now.

 Download Hulu for iOS and Android.

Sling TV App

Sling TV is less like Netflix and Hulu and more like a regular cable subscription. It’s a good option for cord-cutters, though it’s a little redundant if you already have a cable subscription. Sling offers channels in smaller packages rather than requiring a full subscription to a bunch of stuff you’ll never watch. Prices are quite reasonable too.

Download Sling TV for iOS and Android.

From established cable providers to streaming-only TV alternatives, there are a lot of options for watching TV on the go these days. Check them out, pick your favorite, and enjoy your TV anywhere and everywhere.

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