While it's easy to stream videos on your phone using YouTube, for example, there are plenty of other mobile apps for viewing, recording, editing, and sharing video with friends that you may not have thought of. With these apps you can watch TV shows, news broadcasts, and live streams of worldwide events on your phone.
What are the different kinds of mobile video players?
Which video player apps you use will largely depend on the videos you want to watch. If you're looking for user-generated video, for example, you'll want to start with the YouTube app (Android and iOS).
Live gaming playthrough? Grab Twitch (Android and iOS). For live streams of events as routine as a snowy bus ride or as historic as a Senate vote, try Periscope (Android and iOS) and Facebook Live (Android and iOS).
Cable-cutters can download apps for their favored services, too, from Hulu (Android and iOS) to Roku (Android and iOS). Roku also has a channel that lets you watch free movies and TV shows. For most video stored on your phone, your phone's stock video player should be up to the task.
How can I create and share video?
For a polished video, look for an editing app like Adobe Premiere Clip (Android and iOS) that lets you work with clips and photos; organize and trim the clips, add music, transitions, effects, and titles; and then share through your favorite social service. If it seems like too much work, you can find apps that grab your video assets and automatically assemble a video for you.
Can I record what's on my screen?
For recording what's on your phone's screen -- say, you want to capture the playthrough of a game -- look to a screen-recording app. You can capture your entire screen or a portion of it and pick quality settings. Some, such as Google's Play Games app (Android), include built-in screen recording tools for streaming and capturing gameplay, your voice, and even your facial expressions, which you can then upload to YouTube to share.
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With Snapchat, create and share photos and short video stories with friends. Add lenses to adjust how you appear and filters to layer text or other items onto the image. You can set the length of time for each self-destructing snap and which of your friends can view. And through Snapchat Discover, watch daily news shows created specifically for Snapchat, including NBC News' daily show "Stay Tuned."
For watching Facebook videos on mobile devices, check out Facebook Live, which lets anyone on Facebook share a live video stream to followers and friends. After the live event, the video is published to the broadcaster's page, so viewers can check it out later.
With Twitter's free app Periscope, you can share a live video stream from your iPhone or Android device. Tap the Live button, create a description for your live video, and hit Go Live with a public or private broadcast. You, of course, can also watch live events broadcast by others.
If you want to watch user-generated content, you want YouTube. You have a bazillion videos to choose from -- both live and on-demand video -- and if you are feeling creative, upload and edit your own video with YouTube's easy-to-use video editing and publishing tools. And it has Chromecast support, so you can cast from the YouTube app to your Chromecast device hooked to your TV.
Twitch broadcasts live streams of gamers playing everything from Fortnite to Portal 2. Follow and chat with streamers and catch older clips on a gamer's page. Come for the gaming tips, stay for the music and banter. For a change of pace, Twitch periodically does a broadcast marathon of favorite TV shows and game characters. There's a Pokemon marathon, for example, that includes 932 episodes from the 19 seasons of the TV show plus 16 Pokemon movies.
The gold standard for binge-watching, the Netflix app lets you see original shows ("Stranger Things!"), full-length movies, TV series ("Great British Baking Show!"), documentaries, and more on your phone. You can also download selected videos to view offline. Its search tools can make you a little crazy, but otherwise, it may be the best way to watch and watch and watch.
The Sling TV app for Android phone and iPhone is hard to beat, bringing the best of the live-over-Internet TV service to your mobile device. The service is affordable, easy to use, offers a variety of packages to assemble your channel lineup, and lets you record up to 50 hours of shows via Sling's DVR cloud service.
For cable-cutters, Hulu lets you watch current TV episodes, full seasons of shows, and a rotating collection of movies. You can also stream live and on-demand TV with a live streaming subscription.
The VLC video player can open almost any video or audio file on your phone and play it. It handles a broad range of multimedia files, it's easy to use yet comes with a rich and powerful set of tools and settings, and, best of all, it's free.
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