The app is free to download and there are no fees – all you need is Android 4.4 or above, and a Wi-Fi connection
Android users can now stream their favourite TV shows wherever they are for free with the launch of the Freeview app on Google’s Play Store.
It comes six months after the app launched on iOS and brings live shows and on-demand content from the likes of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 to millions more viewers. This includes access to services such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5 and UKTV Play.
In total, Freeview offers up to 70 channels, including 15 HD channels, but the range of channels depends on where you live. If you’re unsure what channels you can get, you can use Freeview’s coverage checker.
The app is free to download and there are no subscription fees. The only catch is that you need to have a handset running Android KitKat 4.4 or above, plus an active Wi-Fi or data connection. When you first sign in to the app, you’ll need to confirm your location and then you’re ready to start streaming.
To see a selection of shows, click the What’s On tab and scroll through the visual guide showing you what’s on now, and what’s on later.
The On Demand tab is divided into genres. The first page shows the Top Picks, based on what’s popular. You can then choose between Comedy, Drama & Soaps, Entertainment, Factual, Kids, Lifestyle, Movies, and Sport. At the time of writing, there’s a tab showing all the content relating to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
The third menu tab is the Guide and shows every channel’s full listing for the next seven days. Double-tap a channel name to set it as a favourite; to see just your favourite channels, press the heart icon in the top right-hand corner.
You can also set yourself reminders for upcoming shows by selecting the title from the grid and pressing the clock icon.
There’s also the option to search for shows, channels or on-demand services via the search button. To watch on-demand shows, you need to download and sign into (where necessary) the individual apps but you can access links to each of these on the My Freeview tab.
If you’re visually impaired, Freeview has designed the app to work with your phone’s accessibility features, too.
Data from the launch of the iOS version revealed viewers tuning in to BBC Breakfast and ITV’s Good Morning Britain on their way to work. Sporting shows also proved popular, with Wimbledon being the most streamed show in July and the FIFA Women’s World Cup a close second in June. ITV’s Love Island also proved popular.
“It has never been easier to become a Freeview viewer. To start watching content, all you need is a smartphone, an internet connection and away you go, all the content you love, wherever and whenever you want it,” said Owen Jenkinson, marketing director, Freeview.