Exploring Crackle: Movies and TV on the Galaxy Tab 3
Crackle is a free website and app on which you watch full-length movies and TV episodes for free on your computer, TV, phone, or tablet. In this article, we’ll explore the Crackle app available for your Galaxy Tab 3 found in the Google Play Store. Crackle (see Figure 1) offers a wide variety of movies and TV shows, ranging from the relatively new to old favorites. Currently, you can find hundreds of popular films including Drive, Talladega Nights, Resident Evil, and The Rum Diary just to name a few. You also have access to thousands of television episodes including The Walking Dead, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Seinfeld, and Damages. Crackle content is in standard definition, but the quality of video on mobile devices is quite good.
Because Crackle content is completely free, much of the content can be found on basic cable. What you gain with Crackle is unlimited on-demand viewing of an eclectic mix of hits, ranging from classics like Das Boot to oldies-but-goodies like Sanford & Son and All in the Family. “How do you get all of this for free?” you might ask. Like network television, Crackle runs commercials to pay the bills. Unlike films shown on network television, Crackle movies are streamed in their entirety without concern for runtime.
Getting started with Crackle is very easy. Download the Crackle app from the Google Play Store and get started.
Registering with Crackle
You aren’t required to register through Crackle’s Android app before you can enjoy watching videos, but you do have to be registered in order to take advantage of all of the features this app has to offer, such as creating your own watchlist and viewing your playback history. Registration is simple. Just tap the Menubutton on your Tab, and then select Sign In/Register to get started with a free Crackle account (see Figure 2).
Browsing Movies and Shows
If this is your first time browsing the Crackle app interface for movies and TV shows, you will find it quite intuitive. A great way to become acquainted with Crackle is just to start browsing. When you first launch Crackle, there are several ways for you to search apps from the Home screen. At the very top of the screen are rotating banners for recommended movies, TV shows, and watchlists for you to consider. Just tap a banner to get more info and start viewing.
Four tabs appear at the very top of the interface: Home, Movies, Shows, and Watchlists. The content in each tab can be navigated just like on the Home screen, with a slight exception for the Watchlists tab, but we’ll get to that in a moment. As you can see, by default, you are currently viewing the content under the Hometab (see Figure 3). Tap Movies to view a list of featured films. If you scroll down the list, you’ll find that, by default, not all of the movies are shown. Tap Browse All Movies to see the complete list. To find a title quickly, you can sort content by genre by tapping Featured, located right underneath the Home tab.
Tap Watchlists to view select collections of content picked by celebrities and critics including Award Winning Documentaries, Martial Arts Masters, and Visionary Directors. Tap My Watchlist at the top of the screen to access your own personalized watchlist. We’ll cover creating your own watchlist in just a moment.
To watch a movie or TV show that interests you, tap it to view more information about the video, including a brief description, cast members, and its rating. The option to Add to Watchlist is also on this information screen. You can access content you have added to your personal watchlist by tapping the Watchlists tab from the main Crackle screen, and then choosing My Watchlist, as shown previously in Figure 3.
Selecting a TV show provides a list of available episodes from which to choose. Tapping on the preview image starts the video, and if you tap the screen a second time, a very simple and intuitive set of playback controls are revealed. The blue scrub bar located at the bottom of the interface enables you to rewind or forward through a video by dragging left to right, or jump between chapters by tapping on the white dots (see Figure 4). The Pause button appears in the center of the screen.
Tap the subtitle icon located in the bottom-right corner of the interface to switch between available languages and toggle Closed Captioning On and Off.
Tapping the Menu button on your Galaxy Tab while a movie is playing reveals options to Share the link to the video using Email, Facebook, and Twitter. You can choose to Like the movie or TV show on your Facebook account, and you are also given the option to buy the current movie on Amazon. The Play On option enables you to transfer videos to a TV set (see Figure 5).
When you Tap the Menu button on your Tab from the Crackle Home screen, or the Movies, Shows, and Watchlists screen, you can access more ways to customize your overall Crackle experience. You can choose to have content appear under each tab as a list or as thumbnails (this particular option is not available for the Home screen). You can also access your viewing history and the main Crackle Settings.
Within the main Crackle settings (see Figure 7), you can customize viewer playback prompts, such as whether a video you have played before resumes from the point where you stopped, or if you want to start from the beginning.
The Videos Require Wi-Fi option enables you to configure Crackle to only use Wi-Fi when playing content to avoid using your data plan.
Crackle contains uncensored material, so if the entire family shares your Tab, you can set parental controls within Crackle to Restrict All Content.
Choose to share your activities on Crackle with friends by selecting the On Facebook option.
Activate alerts to notify you of new movies and TV shows added to the Crackle library and alerts for expiring items in your watchlist.
Although you won’t find many of the latest and greatest movies and TV shows on Crackle, it is a completely free alternative to paid services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Another good reason to consider adding Crackle to your list of movie apps is the fact that occasionally, you can find movies for free that you would have to pay for with other services.