Just sitting around with nothing to do? Why not watch some TV on your Android device? The new Watch ABC app offers access to a large number of on-demand shows and even does live TV streaming in Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco. The obvious downside here is almost no devices are currently supported.

2 1

The app doesn't include all shows on-demand, but there are a fair number. You only get a handful of episodes, though. The live streaming is only available in the markets listed above, and the app does check to make sure you're physically in the market you claim to be in. Live streaming also requires you log in through your cable or satellite provider. The limited on-demand library should be open to everyone, at least that's the way ABC's iOS app works. If this one worked on any devices, we could know for certain.

4 3

It looks like mostly tablets can grab the app right now, but user reviews are not encouraging. Apparently, Watch ABC is throwing error messages claiming the device isn't supported even when it is supported, according to the Play Store. Might be safe to give this one a day or two before you go looking for free TV shows.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Chris

    The whole "signing in with your cable provider" is complete BS. I understand its the cable companies who are at fault here. they are just too damn scared and frightened about new ways of accessing TV shows. much like how the music industry was a decade ago.

    • wickets

      I wish we had a 'cable provider' spring!! If everyone stopped watching tv in protest maybe something would happen. Also, it seems pretty monopolistic to make a free service be seen via a paid one....wheres the AG when you need him?????

    • ddpacino

      Ahhh, I was about to ask. UGH! CAN WE GET AWAY FROM THIS NOW!?! And this is a basic station you get over the air!

  • SnkBitten

    works fine on my Nexus 10. Not in a live streaming market but past shows play just fine.

    • Christopher Robert

      spoof your GPs and i bet you can get it to think you are in a live streaming market.

  • Frederick Eichinger

    Downloaded and installed on my Tab 2, but got the device not supported error.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/moneta.mace Mace Moneta

    ABC broadcasts its content digitally, for free, on public frequencies. Why on Earth would a cable provider be needed?!? Get rid of the pointless limiting DRM, and you can increase your reach to a billion devices. Won't someone please think of the advertising revenue!

  • Christopher Robert

    Someone just needs to invent a key breakers for cable provider logins. This whole DRM crap with them is ridiculous.

  • TynanDeRosa

    Holy shit, an app the B&N Nook HD+ can get before my Note 2. It feels like hell froze over.

    • Rella

      You were able to download the ABC app? without error on your Nook HD+? HOW DID YOU DO THIS? I cannot get it, keeps giving error

  • Keyz Karanza

    What are the odds anyone who watches ABC even HAS a smartphone or tablet? Isn't the average age of an ABC viewer like 80??

    • joe

      For your information there are alot of people way under 80 who watch abc, so your coment was very rude.

      • Keyz Karanza

        And you think I care...why exactly? And seriously, seven months later? Get with the times!

  • Matthew Edwards

    I'll just stick with my Dish Anywhere app. Then I need one app instead of one for ABC, one for CW, one for HBO, etc etc

  • Glenda

    I used the app a month ago to catch up on several shows. Now all of a sudden it's giving me the message that it doesn't work on my device. Nexus 10. WTF

  • Glenda

    Oh but I CAN still get it on my Samsung Note II phone. Same app. Installed same time as tablet.

  • bob

    ABC sink we should boycott them