The digital health sector should think deeply about what happens next as Apple CEO Tim Cook has again spoken out about his company’s focus on wellness technologies.
Prevention is good for business
Cook talked up Apple’s plans for digital health with IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan. His focus is very much on prevention, above cure – perhaps reflecting the depth of research and the huge burden of proof required before new technologies can truly be declared lifesaving.
“I think you can take that simple idea of having preventive things and find many more areas where technology intersects healthcare, and I think all of our lives would probably be better off for it,” said Cook.
He’s basically arguing that technology can be developed that can provide early warnings of big health problems, empowering people to take better care of themselves.
Can wearables make you well?
His argument is being picked up on by health practitioners worldwide, particularly as millions succumb to relatively preventable conditions such as obesity or diabetes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that diseases such as these, cancer and heart disease together account for around 70% of deaths worldwide. Air pollution, drug resistance and global pandemics such as flu are among the biggest problems. Mental health issues are also becoming endemic.
While Cook wasn’t specific in his promises, he did say:
“Most of the money in healthcare goes to the cases that weren’t identified early enough. It will take some time, but things that we are doing now – that I’m not going to talk about today – those give me a lot of cause for hope.”
Reading between the lines of what Cook said, it seems clear that when it comes to preventative health Apple is focused on Apple Watch. That’s as big a hint as we’re going to get about the company’s digital health product development.
Apple Watch: exploring digital health frontiers
We can already guess this means the company is developing new health sensors, new activity sensors and enhancements to its already life-saving heart monitoring tools.
When it comes to software, Apple will certainly be looking to develop health-focused machine-learning systems capable of monitoring how we live – and offering up useful advice to help people stay well. That’s effectively the kind of thing Activity already does, with the addition of new tools likely developed using the company’s digital health research solutions.
It remains to be seen whether anything more comes of Apple’s investment in primary care clinics for its employees, though it is likely company employees already contribute test results for its research teams. Apple’s swimming Activity tech used extensive data from real swimmers, after all.
It is important to note that many of America’s larger corporations are bringing elements of employee health provision in house, so perhaps nothing will become of the investment. Earlier reports said the company has hired designers tasked with implementing programs to prevent disease and promote health behavior.
Some recent headlines may help explain the kind of digital health opportunities that are already available for Apple and others to explore through wearable devices such as Apple Watch:
The Lancetrecently reported on a study that showed real-time flu prediction may be possible using wearable heart rate and sleep tracking devices.
Research is also taking place that uses digital devices and sensors to help monitor and manage some mental health diseases.
Caspar Health, a provider of a digital patient aftercare that enables patients to manage their own care remotely recently pulled in $5.3m in Series A funding.
Stanford Medicine’s 2020 Health Trends report confirms the data gathered by smartphone apps and wearables “more often than not” provides “clinically valuable” information.
It seems logical to think Apple might explore any of these sectors. Each one relates strongly to Cook’s hints about “preventive” care. While there is no evidence at all that Apple is involved in any of the industry research that is taking place, Cook’s statements make it clear the company is definitely watching the space. In the future, if an Apple Watch can detect it, and Apple’s software can analyze the information it picks up, the company will probably make something from it.
If blockchain felt more like hype than reality in 2019, prepare for that to change. Industry watchers expect 2020 to be the year the distributed ledger technology matures and we see use cases that go beyond cryptocurrency.
Areas where experts envision growth include data security, the supply chain and electronic health records.
“Someone’s gonna hit me, but I think blockchain as it relates to data security (think access management) is going to have some landmark use cases in 2020,” Siobhan Climer, science and technology writer at Mindsight, said during a recent IDG TECH(talk) Twitter chat.
Ed Featherston, a technologist at Cloud Technology Partners whose expertise includes blockchain, big data, machine learning, IoT and cloud computing, agreed, saying he still believes in the potential of blockchain and predicts its use will grow in 2020.
“One of the biggest areas in which blockchain is growing is supply chain and provenance,” he said during the Twitter chat. “Pharma (and healthcare in general) are also looking and investing heavily in blockchain options: drug supply chain — opiates especially — clinical trial data, electronic health records. Chain of custody/chain of events is always a potential use.”
Climer concurred: “Anything that involves tracking of a noun – person (law enforcement/government/travel), things (medicine, products, packages), ideas (patents, perhaps) – so much potential there.”
In writing about the expectations for blockchain in 2020, Computerworld‘s Lucas Mearian said that while the technology “has not lived up to expectations to drive new societal and business models” – and most projects remain in experimental mode – it is far from being a failure.
“Its promise to deliver a single version of data truth over a secure, distributed and immutable ledger remains compelling, and as it matures, many see it becoming a ubiquitous platform for financial services, ecommerce and other markets,” he wrote.
As blockchain begins climbing out of the hype cycle, pragmatic use cases will arise. Some of those include payment processing, data sharing, equity trading, and contract/document keeping and tracking, Mearian wrote. We can also expect the technology to be used to thwart fake news, for digital securities exchanges, and to manage consumer identities.
More AI and machine learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will be used more in 2020, experts say. In particular, they’re looking forward to their use in cybersecurity, collaboration technology and telepresence, and production quality.
“I am excited to see AI and ML being used more fully in the world of cyber. Much of this will initially be offered as a services,” said Schott Schober, a cybersecurity and wireless expert and author of the book Cybersecurity Is Everybody’s Business, during the IDG TECH(talk) Twitter chat.
In fact, a recent Computerworldpoll about technology trends for 2020 found 43.9% of people are most looking forward to AI-enhanced cybersecurity. It’s no wonder, considering increases in the number of cybersecurity incidents. In 2019, at least 5.3 billion records, including credit card numbers, home addresses and phone numbers, were exposed through data breaches. Organizations need help identifying threats and preventing breaches, and given the shortage of cybersecurity professionals, AI can help them bridge that skills gap.
Look for AI and ML to be used to detect threats and other potentially malicious attacks and for AI to be used with multi-factor authentication (MFA) to provide access to users, Schober said. ML is also effective for learning/analyzing mobile endpoints.
For Steven Prentice, whose expertise includes implementing business technology across a range of industries, it’s the use of AI and ML in collaboration technology and telepresence that has him most excited.
Using AI and ML in enhanced meeting/collaboration management allows you to calculate floor space needed for meetings, as well as “power usage and general viability in brick-and-mortar spaces. It serves as a catalyst for justifying robots and telepresence,” he said.
IoT, IIoT, edge computing and automation rise in importance
Expect the internet of things (IoT) and industrial internet of things (IIoT) to grow in 2020. And as they do, edge computing and robotic process automation (RPA) will gain traction, said Moin Shaikh, senior web analyst at Intelligent Online Solutions Pty. Ltd.
“OEMs and manufacturers have started harnessing the power of RPA and AI to improve product quality and fasten production cycle,” he said. “Logistics is another area where IIoT robotics are helping.”
Those applications are going to need the fast network speeds that edge computing provides to process the zettabytes of data the IoT devices are going generate.
Enterprises are already investing in compute, storage and networking gear at the edge, including IoT gateways and hyperconverged infrastructure. And in 2020, Joanne Friedman, IT industry analyst and CEO of ConneKted Minds, expects more will do so.
“I’m looking forward to enterprises adopting edge as a means to absorb real-time/situational or contextual data from cobotics, IIoT, or customers (IoT) to improve the accuracy and quality of insights used to inform their decisions,” she said.
Other enterprise tech trends for 2020
Industry experts are also watching these enterprise technology trends:
3D printing advances;
Organizations focused on agile and a DevOps culture;
Higher adoption of low-code and no-code solutions;
Entire organizations – not just IT – focusing on reducing technical debt and legacy debt;
Improved IoT security;
Privacy by design and security built into products/software.
Ah, a new year. What better time to step back, fire up our rusty ol’ noggins, and think about what exciting and/or exhausting mobile-tech movements await us in the months ahead?
It’s a level of contemplation that can be challenging to focus on — especially in this rowdy Android-centric domain, where Incredibly Important Information is constantly spewing forth and splashing into our moist, open eyeballs. (That’s at least part of why I wear industrial strength swimming goggles whenever I’m consuming mobile tech news.) Sometimes, it’s all you can do to stay afloat and avoid drowning in the fast-moving stream of “revolutionary” developments from companies you’ve never heard of.
Lemme tell ya, though: Stepping back and thinking about that bigger picture view can be the best way to grasp what’s actually going on with these ever-evolving gadgets of ours and the software that surrounds ’em. Trends tell us so much more than any individual announcements being shouted from a filthy Vegas floor, and they definitely tell us more than the meaningless but confidently stated predictions so many folks love to bellow into the ether this time of year. (There’s just one exception to that rule.)
So as most of the internet scrambles to keep up with an endless spray of CES screeching, let’s zoom out and look at some of the broader trends that are bound to dominate this domain in the coming months. There will almost certainly be unexpected twists and yet-to-be-revealed surprises, but it seems safe to say we’ll be spending plenty of time talking about these seven subjects.
1. Foldables, foldables, every which way
2019 was supposed to be the “year of the foldable,” but in reality, it was just the tip of the folding iceberg — the year a couple of companies started dipping their eager tootsies into the water to see if they could convince anyone to join ’em for a splash.
The results? Well, they weren’t exactly spectacular, but they were enough to get everyone and their mother interested in chasing the same virtual genie and trying to claim their share of the (neatly folded) pie. The technology may still be nowhere near ready for advisable ownership, but its reason for existence — the answer to the pesky question of “What problem is this solving, anyway, outside of making expensive phones seem new and exciting and worth buying?” — is getting closer to being defined.
With multiple foldable Android phones already on the horizon and even more under development, there’s little question this’ll be an area we’ll be watching, erm, unfold as the year wears on.
2. More silly screen-related gimmicks
Like it or not, a Pandora’s box has boastfully been opened when it comes to silly screen-related gimmicks — and believe you me, that’s only gonna become more apparent as we weave our way through these next dozen months.
These sorts of gimmicks generally serve the same basic purpose — that is, absolutely no legitimate purpose. They address a non-problem that was created mostly just to justify their existence: the notion that we need phones with smaller bezels, damn it, because…uh, well, they look cool? (And thus also, y’know, make expensive phones seem new and exciting and worth buying. Funny how it always ultimately comes back to that, isn’t it?)
And so in pursuit of that manufactured goal of having less space around our screens, we accept all sorts of laughable compromises — like having ridiculously awkward cutouts within the actual active areas we look at on our screens, having worse speakers on our phones than what we enjoyed a few years back, and having a wildly unnecessary mechanical system to tuck the front-facing camera away into a phone’s body and then raise it back up every flippin’ time it’s needed.
In short, get ready for a bunch of stuff that looks cool but ultimately acts against your real world, 10-fingered-human interests. And speaking of which…
3. A move away from ports and buttons
With the headphone jack already on its way to extinction, phone-makers have been angling to further reduce our device’s orifices and protrusions for a while now. We’ve seen phones without any physical buttons before, and more recently, we’ve seen some concept-level phones with nary a hole to be found (yipes!).
Between that general trend toward “simplifying” hardware (an insulting euphemism if I’ve ever heard one) and recent rumors that Apple is eyeing a port-free iPhone for 2021, it’s hard not to expect some manner of movement in this direction from Android device-makers over the coming months.
Someone’s bound to make a physical-interruption-free Android phone, if not this year then sometime soon thereafter. The only real question in my mind is who it’ll be — and how many other yahoos will follow.
4. 5G, 5G, everywhere (except where it counts)
You knew this one was coming, right? Yup, no way around it: 5G will be everywhere in 2020, at least in terms of marketing. Carriers and device-makers have made that abundantly clear. What’s less clear is how this will in any way be beneficial to the vast majority of us — and how it won’t be yet another practical downgrade in our mobile-tech user experience.
To wit: 5G networks remain extraordinarily small-scale and limited in America. Even in cities where they’re present, the nature of the technology means areas with actual 5G coverage are few and far between. What’s more, early signs suggest that even in places where 5G is present, the experience of using it is often roughly comparable to or sometimes even worse than what you’d get from using the regular ol’ 4G networks you know and loathe.
Guess what? All of the trends we’ve talked about so far lead to the same end result: the presence of high-end phones that, for one reason or another, require you to fork over more dough to own ’em.
From foldables to fresh-seeming form gimmicks and, of course, that futile 5G support, carriers and device-makers are gonna have a whole new range of reasons to demand more dollars for your next mobile device. And you’d better believe they’re ready to jump on that opportunity.
I mean, think about it: After years of slumping smartphone sales and extending ownership periods for existing devices, there are finally some shiny new tools to entice us all to open our wallets again. And boy, goodness, are we gonna be hearing about ’em endlessly. (It’s probably no coincidence that Motorola has already said it’s ready to re-enter the “premium smartphone market” with its first series of truly high-end products in a while.)
On the other hand, though…
6. More emphasis on affordable devices
Google’s experience with the Pixel 3a is a reminder that sometimes, a decidedly muted and mundane model of a phone is the one people actually want to buy — especially when its compromises are limited and its price is right. (It’s a lesson Motorola also learned with its Moto G line some years earlier, incidentally — when, perhaps not coincidentally, the company was owned by none other than Google.)
Add into that recently revealed plans for a first-ever Galaxy S Lite series and Note Lite series from Samsung and rumors of a similarly branded midrange phone option from OnePlus, and it sure seems like all that high-end attention will be nicely complemented by a new emphasis on affordable midrange devices that don’t completely suck.
7. Renewed attention for some Android-adjacent platforms
This time last year, Google’s then-new manager of Android TV said the company was working on a significant redesign of the TV-based platform and suggested that after years of neglect, it was finally ready to give Android TV the attention it deserved.
And then — well, not much happened in 2019. Those promises are still pending.
Assuming Google hasn’t done one of its classic flip-flop abandonments, this seems to suggest something is still a-cookin’ — and maybe, just maybe, this’ll be the year it’s fully baked and ready for our tasting.
Let’s not forget, too, that Google is still in the process of attempting to buy Fitbit. While that acquisition (if approved) isn’t likely to result in any immediate Googley gadgets, Google also spent $40 million to buy some “top-secret smartwatch technology” from Fossil nearly a year ago — something that was at the time described as a “new product innovation that’s not yet hit the market.”
And that deal wasn’t just about technology, either: It also brought a dedicated research-and-development team into Google’s Wear OS department. Again, the signs sure seem to suggest that something is still a-cookin’ and that Google’s got some intriguing ingredients for a wearable that could be pretty different from what we’ve seen before.
We may not know the specifics just yet, but between all these areas and the inevitable ongoing march of Assistant alongside ’em, we’ve got plenty of interesting questions to ponder — and plenty of intriguing possibilities to observe.
2020, here we come. Let the games begin!
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Watching Christmas movies on Netflix can be a great way to enjoy the holidays, especially if you want to immerse yourself in the season.
However, with the amount of content available on Netflix, it can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. To help you relax, have a good laugh, or feel a bit sentimental during the holidays, we’ve found the best Christmas movies to watch on Netflix.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a great movie for when you just want to sit back, relax with your family, and watch something that the kids can enjoy while staying within the Christmas spirit.
In this film, the Christmas-hating Grinch ruins the holiday for the inhabitants of Whoville, but when one thing leads to another, he learns that Christmas is about more than just shallow gifts and selfish consumerism. We all need such reminders every once in a while, don’t we?
Starring Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Dan Aykroyd, Christmas with the Kranks is a hilarious holiday tale.
When their daughter leaves for the holiday season, Christmas just won’t be the same. So the Kranks decide to forget Christmas altogether and sail away on a cruise. But last-minute plans change, and their daughter decides to come home after all. Unfortunately, the Kranks aren’t prepared for that and what ensues is a Christmas comedy your whole family will love.
A Very Murray Christmas features the one and only comedic genius that is Bill Murray, among a whole host of other Hollywood A-listers. The movie, pitched as a fake documentary, is hilarious and an “irreverent twist on holiday variety shows.”
The trailer should be all you need to know whether you’d like to check this one out for yourself. However, George Clooney is in it, so we’re guessing that’s half the population sold on it already.
When Christmas Eve rolls around, no one likes to be stranded in an airport. But when it’s a group of Unaccompanied Minors, it can turn into quite an adventure.
Watch as this cluster of mischievous kids bond as they do their best to entertain themselves until they can make their way home to their families. You’ll laugh as they try to outsmart an airport official and laugh even harder as they outrun the airport security guards.
For a jolly good giggle this holiday season, gather the family, and check out Unaccompanied Minors.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is certainly a classic. The movie features Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye who start up a song-and-dance routine after the war and become wildly popular. The two then join a sister act, played by Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen, and head to Vermont to finally experience a White Christmas.
What makes this movie great, aside from the movie itself, are the nostalgic memories you may enjoy while watching it, as it has been regularly broadcast for many, many years during the holidays.
For another classic story in Whoville, Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch is a great animated story for kids of all ages.
Follow the grumpy, green Grinch as he tries to steal Christmas by turning himself into Santa and sledding his way through Whoville with his faithful sidekick Max. It’s the same Dr. Seuss traditional story you love with beautifully colored animation, upbeat and fun music, and the main character you love to hate every Christmas.
Get Santa is a British movie with British humor. The movie was released in 2014 and features a top notch group of actors and actresses, including Jim Broadbent, Kit Connor, Warwick Davis, and Rafe Spall.
What makes this movie eminently watchable is that it can be enjoyed by kids as well as adults. It also features an interesting plot that will really get the kids in the family cheering for Santa. As if they weren’t doing so already.
Tired of the usual Christmas cliches? Then you’re in for a treat. While The Spirit of Christmas has its flaws, you’ll be able to overlook them for its unique spin on what a Christmas film can be.
Follow the hard-working lawyer, Kate, as she attempts to appraise and sell an old bed and breakfast before the year ends, only to find that it’s “haunted” by a cursed spirit. Figuring out how he died could be the key that unlocks the secrets of his curse.
Yes, there’s a romance subplot, but it’s mixed in with an interesting mystery—not of the thriller variety, just straight up drama.
Christmas is a time for family, but family meetups aren’t always something to look forward to—especially if your family tends to hound you about your life choices and singlehood.
In A Holiday Engagement, Hillary hires an actor to pose as her fiance as she returns home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It’s an unoriginal premise we’ve all seen plenty of times before, sure, but the execution here is better than you’d expect. At the end of the day, it’s a fun little romantic comedy with some holiday cheer. Isn’t that all that matters?
A Christmas Prince is the perfect movie to watch if you’re feeling down, want to shut off your brain, and sink into a sappy movie with a tub of ice cream by your side.
When a young journalist travels across the pond and goes undercover to report on a prince who’s turning king, she gets tangled up in more than she expected. It’s silly, it’s bright, it’s uplifting—all the right emotions for the most wonderful time of the year.
What Christmas Movies Are You Watching on Netflix?
So, there we have it, the best Christmas movies on Netflix. And if you want to watch these movies with someone who’s in another city or country, see our article explaining how to watch Netflix with friends far away.
If you want to watch an NSFW YouTube video you have to be logged in to your Google account first. The problem is you can’t always log in. Maybe you’re on a shared computer, or it’s just too much hassle when you only want to watch a two-minute clip.
Fortunately, there are a couple of workarounds that enable you to watch without signing in. One involves using a website like NSFWYouTube, the other is a neat trick on the YouTube site itself. Let’s take a look.
Two Tools to Watch NSFW YouTube Videos
There are a couple of websites that let you watch age-restricted YouTube videos without signing in.
They’re both simple to use and work when you’re watching in a web browser. Let’s cover them together as both involve a small YouTube URL trick to bypass the block.
1. Visit YouTube and load up the video you want to watch.
2. If you’re prompted to sign in, click in the address bar at the top of your browser window instead.
3. Highlight the part of the address that says youtube.com and change it to nsfwyoutube.com.
4. Alternatively, change youtube.com to listenonrepeat.com. Hit Enter to continue.
5. You’ll now be taken to either of those websites to watch your video. You won’t need to sign in to your account to view them.
Both sites work in the same way. We’d recommend ListenOnRepeat as the best option.
It’s a better looking website with more features. You can create an account to save or favorite the videos you like, and also join in the chat on the site’s Discord channel.
NSFWYouTube, by contrast, has no extra features. It’s also a more rough and ready website and has a tendency to show some pretty sketchy ads. On the plus side, it doesn’t pester you with irrelevant YouTube recommendations.
Hack the YouTube URL
There’s a second way to watch NSFW YouTube videos without logging in.
As before, this method involves changing the address to the video in your browser’s address bar. But this time it doesn’t take you away from the official YouTube website.
Load up the age-restricted video you want to watch.
Click in the address bar in your browser.
The URL will begin with www.youtube.com/watch?… Highlight the word watch and change it to embed/ so the address now begins www.youtube.com/embed/?…
Hit Enter and the video will fill your browser window. Just click Play to watch it.
What’s great about this method is that it keeps you on the YouTube website. If you do find a video you like, you can save it by clicking the Watch Later button—you’ll be prompted to log in again. You can also share videos and load up playlists.
In our tests, we found it worked most of the time. It would occasionally throw up a YouTube Playback ID error, which we could sometimes fix using these tips for when YouTube isn’t working.
Also, there’s no guarantee that YouTube won’t at some point close the loophole this is based on, so it may not work forever. However, while it is working it’s very simple and effective.
A Few More YouTube Tricks
Watching NSFW videos without signing in isn’t the only way to bypass some of YouTube’s restrictions.
So, you’ve cut the cord and dumped cable TV. However, you still want to be able to watch local TV channels. Don’t worry, there are several ways to stream local TV channels without cable. And in this article we’ll talk you through your options.
These options include tuning into over-the-air (OTA) local channels using an antenna, using a streaming service to watch local channels, and watching local channels on the web. So, if you want to watch local TV channels without cable, keep reading…
How to Watch Local TV Channels Using a Streaming Service
Customers have a dizzying array of live TV streaming services to choose from. The wide variety of apps makes it very difficult to choose the best streaming service for your needs, especially because they all have different channel line-ups. You also need to consider the costs. Some services are free, while others require a monthly subscription.
One area where live TV services vary considerably is in the availability of local channels.
Which Streaming Services Let You Watch Local Channels?
Most of the premium live TV apps let you watch local channels on their streaming services. Here’s a rundown of which local TV stations are available on which providers:
Hulu: ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, The CW, MyNetworkTV, and Telemundo.
YouTube TV: ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, The CW, MyNetworkTV, and Telemundo.
FuboTV: NBC, CBS, FOX, The CW, MyNetworkTV, Telemundo, and Univision.
AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now): ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.
Sling Blue: FOX and NBC.
All five of the companies above include the listed local TV channels in their base packages; you do not need to pay for extras or add-ons.
And remember, all of the services provide apps for streaming boxes and sticks. Ergo, they let you watch local channels on Roku, watch local channels on Fire TV Stick, and watch local channels on Android TV. Indeed, they are the best option if you want to watch local channels without a cable or satellite TV plan.
Note: All live TV streaming companies need to negotiate broadcast rights for local TV channels on a city-by-city basis. So not all markets are covered. Check directly with the provider before you sign up.
Which Streaming Services Do Not Offer Local TV Stations?
The only mainstream live TV app that does not let you watch local TV channels on its service is Philo. Because local TV rights can be expensive to negotiate and Philo is a budget live TV service, the company has decided the trade-off is not worth it.
If you have a Philo subscription and want to watch local TV, you will have to use some of the other methods outlined below.
How to Watch Local TV Without Cable, Satellite, or a Streaming Plan
If you don’t want to sign up for a streaming plan or cable TV service but still want to watch local channels, your best bet is to turn to a trusty old OTA TV antenna.
The number of local channels you can receive with a TV aerial depends on a few factors:
Aerial Quality: We’ve all seen those cheap $5 aerials in Walmart. You should avoid them. They are poor quality and cannot pick up the same amount of content, especially if you live in a more rural area where the signal strength is not as strong.
Aerial Location: The higher you can place your aerial, the better. For the best performance, you need to buy an external TV antenna and mount it on your roof.
Market: Some markets have far more local channels than others. If you live in a large metro area, it’s not uncommon to be able to get more than 30 OTA channels. People who live in the countryside might be restricted to one or two local stations.
Another benefit of using an antenna to access local channels (rather than relying on a streaming service) is the availability of smaller independent channels that aren’t produced by one of the big networks.
If your favorite local TV station isn’t an affiliate of ABC, NBC, et al., you won’t find it on services like Hulu and YouTube TV. To see which OTA local channels are available in your area, head to AntennaWeb and enter your ZIP code.
What Hardware Do You Need to Watch Local Channels?
If you’re looking for an indoor aerial, the Mohu Leaf is widely considered to be the best on the market. You can buy one on Amazon.
Sling subscribers can get a free OTA TV antenna as part of their plan.
For the ultimate experience, you should pair your antenna with an HDHomeRun Connect Duo and Plex. The HDHomeRun can grab the signal from your aerial and make it available throughout your home via the Plex app. You can even record content to watch later and watch two local TV channels at the same time on different screens.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to watch some free local TV on the web.
For example, you could check out Locast. It broadcasts local TV from 15 major US cities for free via its website.
You will also find that some local TV stations offer legal around-the-clock live streams on YouTube.
Sadly, there’s no easy way to see whether your local channels are included. For example, some ABC locals are on YouTube; others aren’t. As such, establishing the availability of local channels on YouTube is a case of trial and error. You’ll have to conduct a few searches and see what pops up.
Other Ways to Watch TV Without Cable
The solutions we have discussed in this article will all help you to watch local channels on your various devices. The slickest solution is to sign up for a paid live TV streaming app, but the antenna and/or web approach will suit occasional viewers who don’t want to pay for the privilege.
The Roku app now supports Apple Watch. This means you can use your Apple Watch to control your Roku device, launch channels on your TV, issue voice commands, and even find your Roku remote. All from the smartwatch wrapped around your wrist.
What Can You Do With the Roku App on Apple Watch?
Roku announced that its free app is now available on Apple Watch in a post on The Roku Blog. The company outlines what you can do with the Roku app on your Apple Watch…
You can use your Apple Watch as a remote control for your Roku. This works in the same way as the remote from the mobile app (available on Android and iOS). However, you can also use the Apple Watch’s circular crown to control the volume on your Roku device.
You can also launch channels on your TV using the Roku app on your Apple Watch. Channels are listed in order of the most recently launched, keeping your regular channels at or near the top. Simply tap on a channel once to launch it on your TV.
The free #Roku app is now available right on your wrist.
If you own an Apple Watch Series 1 through 5 you can also issue voice commands using the app. Simply tap the voice icon and speak into your Apple Watch. Voice commands include “Launch Hulu,” “search for comedies,” and “switch to HDMI 1”.
Last but not least, you can use the Roku app on your Apple Watch to search for your actual Roku remote control if you lose it down the back of the sofa. Unfortunately, this feature is only available on the Roku Ultra and select Roku TV models.
How to Install the Roku App on Your Apple Watch
You should be able to install the Roku app on your Apple Watch by updating the Roku app on your iPhone to version 6.1.3. The app will then appear on your Apple Watch. However, if you have disabled automatic installs you’ll have to install the app manually instead.
The Vietnam War is a 10-part TV series directed by famed documentary maker, Ken Burns. It’s the first of two Burns productions on our list. First broadcast on PBS in 2017, it is an epic series and is unquestionably one of the greatest war documentaries ever made; the entire series took more than 10 years to put together.
It contains original first-hand interviews with 79 witnesses (including those who fought in the war and those who protested against it). Burns also worked through 24,000 photos and 1,500 hours of video in a bid to leave no stone unturned.
The series contains 10 episodes and has a total runtime of more than 17 hours.
World War II claimed the lives of millions of people and led to untold suffering. However, for the defeated Germans, the end of hostilities in 1945 marked the beginning of a new chapter of pain.
This BBC war documentary investigates the post-war reprisals against otherwise innocent German people who lived in other Eastern European countries after the Nazis surrendered.
It’s packed with original footage, most of which was unseen prior to airing. Be warned, it’s harrowing stuff. The reality of shootings, death marches, the rapes of women and children, and hideous torture are all laid bare.
The Age of Tanks traces the history of one of the 20th century’s most revolutionary creations—the tank.
The series begins with the story of Basil Henriques. During World War I, the British soldier became the first man to drive a tank in active combat and use it to fire on enemy combatants. Over the following four episodes, the use of tanks in the German Blitzkrieg, the Cold War, and 21st-century wars are all examined under the microscope.
Five Came Back is an adaptation of the book of the same name. It tells the story of five famous American film directors (John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens), all of whom found themselves on the frontlines during the Second World War.
Narrated by Meryl Streep, the three-part series used more than 100 hours of archival footage to discuss the 40 documentaries and training films that the directors made to help the war effort. There’s a particular focus on Ford’s Battle of Midway, Capra’s Why We Fight, and Stevens’ life-changing experiences at Dachau.
The Civil War is the second Ken Burns documentary on our list. First broadcast in 1990, it’s considerably older than Burns’ The Vietnam War, but it still stands up as one of the best documentaries ever made about the all-American battle.
Indeed, at the time of release, it became the most-watched program ever on PBS on its way to picking up two Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and a Peabody Award.
The series starts with the pro-secessionists and abolitionists in 1861 and progresses through nine episodes until the murder of Abraham Lincoln in 1865.
Ostensibly started as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the War in Afghanistan is now the longest war in US history. The total cost of the conflict has cost American taxpayers nearly $1 trillion.
The Bomb Squad is a two-part BBC documentary. It explores the role of British bomb disposal teams stationed on the ground during the struggle. It explores the relationship between the men, as well as the stress that their jobs place on their families back home.
This isn’t the 2001 movie starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman. We’re talking about the excellent BBC documentary of the same name (also from 2001).
In 1940, the UK was in a precarious position. Western Europe had collapsed, the Battle of Britain raged in the skies, and Hitler was desperate to force Churchill into signing a peace agreement. In response, Churchill created the Commandos, a specialist unit designed to help turn the tide of the war.
This four-part documentary explores the new units’ role at four critical junctures in the progression of the conflict: Dunkirk, the St Nazaire Raid, the North African campaign, and Operation Market Garden.
Terrorism is a type of warfare unlike any other. The most noteworthy terrorist events in history—9/11, the Lockerbie Bombing, the 2011 Norway attacks—will be ingrained in our collective minds forever.
One such incident is the November 2015 Paris attacks. 130 people lost their lives in a series of coordinated bombings and shootings across the entire city. The attack became the deadliest on French soil since the Second World War.
This three-part Netflix documentary chronicles the events of the day. It includes a timeline of proceedings and dozens of interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses.
Out of all the horrors which occurred during World War II, the Nazi concentration camps were among the worst. Today, experts believe that between 15 million and 20 million people were either killed or imprisoned in the camps between 1933 and 1945.
This film, from 1945, opened the world’s eyes to the scenes that lay within. Compiled from 80,000 feet of film taken by Allied military photographers after liberation, it is a camp-by-camp analysis of the atrocities committed.
The Allies used the film as evidence in the Nuremberg trials. Ultimately, the footage proved vital in securing convictions against many of the Nazi high command, including Karl Dönitz, Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Alfred Jodl, and Wilhelm Frick.
More Documentaries to Watch on Netflix
We hope you agree with our list of the best war documentaries on Netflix. And if you think we’ve missed out on a must-watch documentary, be sure to let us know in the comments.
There are plenty of ways to watch free documentaries online. So, whether you want to watch documentaries about people, science, history, religion, art, or culture, you’ll always be able to find something on one of the following sites.
US network PBS has produced a stream of high-quality documentaries that you can watch online for free.
The documentary content is divided into four main categories. The categories are Arts and Music, Food, History, and Science and Nature. You can also watch some non-documentary videos in categories like Drama, Home and How To, and Public Affairs.
All of the videos are free to watch as long as you live in the United States. If you’re outside the US, you’ll need to use a VPN to be able to tune in. We recommend either CyberGhost or ExpressVPN.
SnagFilms is a must-have app for anyone who’s serious about cutting the cord. It offers more than 2,000 free documentaries, TV episodes, and original comedy shorts.
If you’re accustomed to the typical genre categories on streaming services, SnagFilms will come as a bit of a shock. Its free documentaries are in categories such as Athletes and Their Triumphs, Veterans and the Military, Before They Were Stars, Refugee and Immigrant Stories, Celebrate Pride, and Climate Change and the Environment.
However, we think the site’s decision to structure its categories in such a way is smart. It makes it much easier to find niche documentaries that you might have otherwise overlooked.
DocumentaryStorm offers a curated list of free documentary movies from other places on the web. All of the videos on the site are feature-length films, so there are no shorts or mini-documentaries.
The usual selection of categories are available, including Art, Biography, Conspiracy, Crime, Environment, History, Money, Politics, Religion, and Science. There are 25 categories in total.
DocumentaryStorm also makes it easy to find documentaries that are worth watching. If you click on the Explore tab, you can see the Top 100 documentaries on the site, a list of the new arrivals, and impressively, a “Surprise Me” feature.
When you hit Surprise Me, DocumentaryStorm will start playing a random documentary from its catalog. It’s a great way to broaden your horizons and learn about topics you wouldn’t typically investigate.
Films for Action has more than 2,000 free documentaries for you to dig into. If you’re interested, the site also has per-view-films and movie trailers available.
The site makes it easy to find stuff to watch. By using the Explore tab, you can filter by topic (40 sections are available), by country of interest, and even by language. In addition to English content, you will also find documentaries in Spanish, German, and Danish.
Film for Action is also one of the few free documentary sites that do not rely on ads. Instead, the company solicits you for donations. The endless requests are a tad tiresome, but it’s still better than having your video interrupted by unskippable interludes.
DocumentaryHeaven takes a similar approach to DocumentaryStorm. It sources free documentary videos from around the web and displays them all on a single website for you to watch.
To find the best documentaries on the site, you can use the Top 100 tab at the top of the page. Alternatively, you can scroll through the various categories by hitting the Browse Documentaries tab. Some of the most popular categories are Health (271 documentaries), History (326), and Science (320).
However, there are also plenty of niche topics that are worth exploring. Some examples include Spirituality (17), Futurism (15), and Evolution (23).
Popcornflix is another site to watch free documentaries. There are around 100 available at any given time, though the list of titles is in a constant state of flux.
The biggest drawback of watching documentaries on Popcornflix is the difficulty of navigating the site.
Because Popcornflix also offers a massive library of free TV shows and movies, all of the documentaries are bundled into a single category. As such, it’s difficult to isolate the sub-genres that you’re interested in—you need to dig through the entire list to find the title you’re looking for.
Like SnagFilms, Spread the Word makes our list of best documentary sites thanks to its unique categories. They are all hyper-specific, meaning you can easily narrow down a list of videos that you’re interested in watching.
Some of the unique categories on offer include Consciousness, Civil Rights, Corporatism, Global Elite, Hidden History, Human Rights, and Media.
You don’t need an account to watch free documentaries on Spread the Word, but if you do sign up, you will be able to make customized playlists and share them with other people.
The Internet Archive often pops up on lists like these, and with good reason. It is one of the best places to watch classic documentaries online.
Sadly, the site does not have a standalone documentary category. You will have to manually search for any videos you want.
YouTube deserves a mention. As you’d expect, you can find thousands of free documentaries on the platform. They are produced by everyone from big-name studios to smaller independent documentary makers.
To make sure you see the best documentaries on YouTube, you should subscribe to YouTube’s official Documentary Films topic. Sure, it’s only going to scratch the surface of what’s available on the site, but it will give you a neverending stream of videos to enjoy.
10. Use Free Trials on Netflix and Hulu
We’ve written about some of the best free documentary sites on our list. However, many of the most popular on-demand streaming apps—like Netflix and Hulu—also offer vast libraries of documentaries.
And remember, most paid sites also offer free trials. So, if you want to watch new documentaries (like 2019’s Leaving Neverland) for free, why not sign up? As long as you cancel before your trial expires, it won’t cost you a dime.
Cord cutters have no shortage of places to watch movies and television shows online. Between the paid options such as Netflix and Hulu, and the endless number of free services, it’s possible to find just about any content that you want to watch.
However, one service that people frequently overlook is IMDb TV. Possibly because they’ve never heard of it. What is IMDb TV? Who can use it? What type of content is available? And is it worth your time? Let’s take a closer look at IMDb TV.
What Is IMDb TV?
IMDb TV is an entirely free service for watching TV shows and movies. Unsurprisingly, it is operated by IMDb.com. Most people are aware of the website thanks to its impressive catalog of ratings, reviews, storyline summaries, and cast lists.
The content on IMDb TV is ad-supported, so you’ll have to sit through the interludes at the beginning and during the videos you watch. There is no way to pay to remove the ads, and the ads are unskippable.
Where Is IMDb TV Available?
At the moment, only users in the United States can watch IMDb TV. However, in an announcement that accompanied the rebrand from IMDb Freedive to IMDb TV in June 2019, IMDb confirmed that it will be expanding into Europe.
For now, if you live anywhere other than the United States, you will have to use a VPN to watch IMDb TV. MakeUseOf recommends ExpressVPN and CyberGhost thanks to the services’ low price and high levels of reliability.
Which Devices Can You Watch IMDb TV On?
The only official standalone IMDb TV app is available for Amazon Fire TV devices. However, you can also watch IMDb TV through any web browser by visiting IMDb.com/tv/.
While there are no dedicated IMDb TV apps for Android and iOS, you can watch IMDb TV using the standard IMDb apps. Just click the “IMDb TV” category to see what movies and TV shows are available to stream.
Download: IMDb: Movies and TV Shows on Android | iOS
What TV Shows and Movies Are Available on IMDb TV?
IMDb is tight-lipped about the precise amount of content available on its service. What the company has confirmed, however, is that the amount of content trebled at the time of the rebrand.
IMDb TV has deals in place with many of the leading TV and Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment, and MGM Studios.
These deals mean that, unlike many free TV and movie services, there is a solid amount of critically-acclaimed content for you to dive into. Some of the best movies on IMDb TV include La La Land, Snatch, Donnie Darko, and Captain Fantastic. La La Land won six Oscars in 2016. There are also plenty of older classic movies. For example, Apocalypse Now, Rain Man, and Lord of War are all on offer.
Some of the most popular free TV series on IMDb TV include Midsomer Murders, Colombo, Alf, Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, The A-Team, and Dallas.
If you can’t find what you are looking for, keep an eye on the listings. IMDb is adding new content all the time.
IMDb TV does not stream live TV channels.
How to Find Content to Watch on IMDb TV
Unfortunately, finding shows on IMDb TV is not straightforward. Although the homepage offers some broad seasonal categories, such as for Christmas and Halloween, the service lacks navigable genre categories that are commonplace on most streaming apps.
That might be to disguise the fact that the content library is a bit thinner than IMDb would like to admit. Or maybe it’s simply because IMDb TV is relatively new and therefore still under active development.
On the positive side, you can quickly tell whether a movie or TV show is available on IMDb TV when you’re using IMDb’s website directory. If the title is on offer, you will see a prominent link labeled “Watch for Free on IMDb TV” that you can click on.
Are There Parental Controls on IMDb TV?
Another area IMDb TV is lacking in is parental controls. If you watch via your web browser there are no parental controls available. Which, given that the service includes kids’ TV shows and movies, will be concerning for parents.
The way IMDb TV displays its content doesn’t help matters. For example, check out the image above. There is a row of wholly-unsuitable-for-kids sci-fi movies directly above a row containing family shows like Hey Arnold and Looney Tunes.
On the Amazon Fire TV app, the situation is slightly better. IMDb can pull your viewing restrictions and PIN settings from your Amazon account.
Are There Watchlists on IMDb TV?
The only other significant feature worth mentioning is the presence of watchlists. Watchlists are one area where IMDb TV excels. The service leans heavily on the IMDb database of content to provide much better watchlist usability than services like Netflix and Hulu.
You can order your shows by rating, runtime, number of user ratings, your own ratings, popularity, and IMDb ratings. You can also easily filter by either movies or TV series, rather than having everything in a single list.
Is IMDb TV Worth Using?
So, is IMDb TV worth your time?
Look, we’re never going to turn down another way to watch free content, but at the time of writing IMDb TV feels like it’s still a work in progress.
The issues with content navigation and parental controls need to be resolved. Similarly, even though some decent shows and movies are on offer, the size of the library needs to be expanded before it becomes a viable alternative to some of its competitors.