A free Crackle app for Android? Your battery may object (its vote matters) but count us among those who think the ability to stream free movies and TV shows to our smartphone qualifies as a good idea. As with the Web site, you must register to use Crackle's Android app, but it's free, too, and you can sign in with your Facebook account if you don't already have a Crackle account. Crackle offers a wide range of shows and movies, including recent productions as well as classics.
You can choose to enable or disable push notifications when installing Crackle; they're not too pushy and can keep you up-to-date with Hollywood news. Creating a new Crackle account is easy, and we were signed in to Crackle's site in a minute or so. The app opened on My Crackle with a page full of settings, FAQs, history, and other housekeeping. A toolbar offered five choices: Home, Movies, Shows, Watchlists, and My Crackle. We tapped Home. Crackle's Android page is a lot like the full Web page, with ads and popular recommendations. We moved on to the Movies page and tapped Browse, which offered options such as Recently Added and Most Popular as well as genres like Action, Comedy, and Sci-Fi. We tapped Sci-Fi and browsed to an old favorite, "Heavy Metal." Another tap and the full-length feature started to play. Sound quality was excellent through headphones and pretty decent through our phone's tiny speaker. The wide-screen display was perfect for watching movies in full aspect ratio.
Like TV, Crackle interrupts your program with ads to pay the bills. We don't mind that, but we occasionally had some trouble resuming our program after breaks. Crackle sometimes restarted our program instead of advancing to the next chapter, and of course advancing the chapters manually means watching another ad. We also recommend having your charger handy and using a Wi-Fi connection, if possible. Watching a movie or two will run your battery down and your data charges up, if you're not careful. For traveling, odd hours, and quick fixes, Crackle's Android app is definitely worth watching.