Historically speaking, watching movies with friends was something you did in person. It kind of seems absurd that it can now just as easily mean watching movies with friends via an app.
Nowadays, it’s extremely easy for us to connect with others and watch videos online together. To do this, a reliable app is needed – here’s a few of the top options.
Best watch party apps – Ranked
There are various apps you can download to start watching movies online, but actually the big streaming services have been integrating this into their platforms over the past few years.
You have Hulu Watch Party for the Hulu Service, Disney Group Watch for the Disney+ service, and Amazon Prime Watch Party for those using the Amazon Prime Video service.
So, it’s worth checking if there’s a dedicated apps to watch online content on your favourite service. If not, here’s a few different apps that work with various services to download before movie night starts.
Rave – Watch Party
Rave – Watch Party is the best and most reputable app out there at the minute that allows friends to watch a movie together virtually.
The app is free to use and allows users to watch a variety of streaming services with friends, providing that you have a registered account with said streaming service.
Once you’ve opened the app up and created an account, you are met with a screen which shows you all watch parties that you eligible to join.
These are public parties, meaning that you don’t need an invite to join them.
You may want to join one of these parties but in all likelihood you’re not on the app to watch a film with a group of strangers, but rather to watch one with your mates.
In order to set up your stream, you need to hit the ‘plus’ icon on the bottom right hand side of the home screen and then select which streaming service you want to fire up. You have a variety choices here from YouTube to Disney Plus and everything in between.
Once you’ve selected what you want to watch the stream and watch party will begin with only you in it – it’s then time to decide how open you want your watch party to be.
Here, you have a multitude of options available to you. You can make it:
- available to the general public;
- available to users nearby to you;
- available to friends on the app;
- available via invite only.
Assuming you only want it available to friends you should be selecting either friends or invite only.
Regardless of which option you pick, you are then able to invite friends to watch it away from the app. You can do this via SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, Email, or a copied link.
Once your friends are in the watch party you can then enjoy the movie together and can share opinions via text chat and/or audio chat.
Hearo is an app very similar to Rave – watch party that unfortunately falls foul to a few technical bugs.
Really, that is the only thing preventing it from becoming as big as Rave because when it works smoothly, it’s just as good.
Unlike Rave, you don’t need to sign up to an account to access the app, something that many will see as a plus point for Hearo.
When you open up the app, you are given the option straight away to start your watch party and provided with a link for it which you can share with your friends so they can join it.
Before you share the link though, it’s worth getting the stream set up. To do this, select one of the streaming icons presented to you providing that you have login details for the app that you select (you will need to enter these once you’ve selected it).
Once you’re in, select what you want to watch and it will start playing automatically.
Now is the time to share the party link with your friends which will allow them to join your watch party and enjoy a movie with you.
Again, you are all able to communicate with each other within the party, however, on Hearo you can only do this via text as opposed to voice and text like on Rave.
Netflix Party (now Teleparty)
The app formerly known as Netflix Party is still a great choice if you want to watch movies online with your friends.
Though the app was originally made for just Netflix – hence the name Netflix Party – the rebrand has made sure that it works with other streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and Disney Plus too.
The app is pretty straightforward to use, and it has a simple text chat interface that makes it really easy to talk to your friends whilst simultaneously watching videos at the same time.
The sync video streams are pretty accurate too, so you don’t need to worry about being 10 seconds ahead of your friends if you’re watching the same video.
The app has a pretty good browser extension too, which makes it really easy for you to set up a long distance date night.
Overall, it’s worth checking the new and improved Teleparty out if you want to watch TV shows or films with a friend.
It’s early 2022 at the time of this article being written and if you don’t know what Zoom is then I can only assume you’ve been living under a rock since early 2020. Although it’s known as a video conferencing app, it can be used to watch movies too.
The video calling software has taken off in a extraordinary way in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, as families clamoured on to the platform to keep in touch with each other.
It has also been of huge benefit to businesses as it has allowed important meetings to continue despite everyone working from home.
While Zoom wasn’t designed to be a watch party platform, you can use it in that way. In order to do this, you are going to need to start a meeting and share the zoom code with all of those who you want to watch the movie with.
We’d recommend setting a passcode for the call to avoid any unwanted intruders.
Once you’re all in, you are going to want to share your screen with the call before signing in to your desired streaming service and hitting play on the movie of your choice.
Once you’ve done this maximise the movie too full screen and sit back and watch the movie with your friends via Zoom.
You will then be able to mute and unmute your microphones as and when you want to chat about something that’s happened in the movie, or just simply use the text chat function.
Using Zoom to watch movies with friends isn’t an ideal solution but literally everyone has Zoom now-a-days so it does remove the need for you and your mates to download a new app and get to grips with the navigation.
To conclude, Rave – Watch Party is definitely the best app out there for users who are looking to watch a movie with friends remotely.
However, if we’re being completely honest, after the two years that we’ve just experienced, we’d urge you all to go out and watch a movie at the cinema with your friends.
Watching movies with friends via an app usually revolves around combining a video call with a shared screen that displays the movie, using something like the Justwatch app to see the films different movie sites have.
It seems like a complicated system but luckily there are a few apps out there which provide this functionality.