The best apps for renting and buying movies in 2018 the download blog – cnet download.com

What do we mean by aggressive? How about Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy in 4K for $34.99 total. The 4K Blu-ray discs have a street price of $25 each. A stream can’t compare to the audiovisual quality of a disc, but at these prices, it’s hard to complain. On the other hand, 4K versions of Star Wars and Marvel films are notably absent from iTunes, due to a disagreement between Apple and Disney over pricing.

The other reason for Apple fans to go this route is that the company doesn’t let you buy or rent movies within any third-party iOS app anyway, granting iTunes a victory by default. To make the other apps on this list fully work, you have to buy your content on their respective websites before you can watch it on your Apple device (or on Windows via the iTunes desktop app).


Vudu and FandangoNOW are both good sources for 4K streaming, though we’d give the edge to Vudu because it clearly states whether or not the stream has HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos, plus its website has portraits of the directors and cast members that you can click on to see what else of theirs is available, whereas FandangoNOW’s portrait section is limited to the mobile app.

Not to be confused with the regular Fandango app where you purchase movie tickets, FandangoNOW is its other app built around streaming rentals and purchases. It’s owned by Comcast through its acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2010, with Time Warner taking a 30 percent minority stake, so most people won’t be completely getting away from their cable company. It’s available in either Android or iOS flavors.

Despite its name, Google Play Movies & TV isn’t just on Google devices. You can also get it on your iPhone and iPad, on Android devices, in certain smart TVs, and on a Roku. Also, while the Apple TV doesn’t have a native Google Play Movies app, there is an end-around: Get the YouTube app for Apple TV, sign in, open your library, and select Purchases. All the movies you’ve bought in the Google Play store will materialize here, for playback within the YouTube app.

Because of Apple’s restrictions, you can’t do much more than window shop in the iOS version of this app, though the individual product pages do at least offer a sensible list of recommended films to also watch (except perhaps for "Blade Runner 2049," which lacks a recommendation to watch the original film that it’s a direct sequel to). The Android version and the website let you buy and rent whatever is available.

Redbox’s streaming service is still in beta and currently lacks 4K, but the app available for Android and for iOS is still handy for the ability to browse the Blu-ray kiosk inventory from the comfort of your couch. Which itself is handy because the discs only cost $2 a day to rent, about one-third of what a stream will cost you, and with superior picture quality and sound.

If the movie isn’t out on disc yet, you can add it to your wishlist and get a notification on your phone or tablet when it gets added. And while iOS blocks paying for streams within the app, Apple has no problem (so far) with your ordering discs for pickup from your nearby kiosk. And you can purchase or rent streams on the Redbox website to view within its mobile app later. If you don’t have a particular film in mind and you just want to browse, the app’s search function has a bunch of filters to help you narrow things down.