Are you struggling to sync up your Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or YouTube sessions during your long distance movie nights? Does it always take a few tries to press ‘play’ at exactly the same time, so you can react together? Do you find yourself constantly switching back and forth between your Zoom and your Netflix screen, so you can chat and view at the same time?
Well, there’s no need to do any of that 😊
In 2020, there are plenty of apps created to solve this exact problem. These 6 movie syncing apps will let long distance couples streamline movie watching sessions without the guesswork – and much more. Some will let you chat together with a picture-in-picture option, others will let you join public streaming sessions with other movie fans, and you can even make playlists and song mashups if you’re feeling creative.
All these apps have different features and they all have pros and cons, so how can you choose the right one? Well, I’ve done some research on each one and evaluated the major pros and cons highlighted by users across the web. Check them out below!
What is it? An extension for Chrome and Edge browsers that will let you sync movies from the major subscription services
Works with: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and HBO
Paid or free? FREE
- You can add subtitles to your own screen without it affecting the other viewer – great for international couples!
- With the plug-in, you can start shared Netflix sessions from within the Netflix browser app
- Group chat option
- Easy to use and simple concept
- Fast buffering speeds
- There are no emojis in the chat
- You need to create a new session every time you want to change what you’re watching
- Each person needs their own account to use the app (not really surprising, but still a complication not faced by couples watching movies from the same sofa!)
- No mobile version
- It only includes basic text chat – no picture-in-picture or audio
What is it?: A smartphone app for iOS and Android that works across multiple platforms and has some unique creative features
Works with: YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, Reddit, Google Drive
Paid or free? FREE with premium version for $1.58/month
- Live chat whilst you watch together
- VR option
- Host karaoke parties!
- You can join public ‘Raves’ and meet new people around the world
- Works internationally
- ‘AI DJ’ function allows you to mash up any two songs – have fun remixing your favourite playlists!
- A few updates have been glitchy for some users, but the latest reviews (as of Nov 2020) are much more positive since the latest update
- Some users have mentioned some potential privacy concerns – for example, you must sign up with an existing social media or Google account and the app will pull your full name from the account. The location of views in a stream are also displayed to other users on a map, which may be a concern, so remember to switch to a private stream to watch movies with your partner (new ‘Raves’ are public by default).
What is it? A versatile video and screen-sharing app that works on iOS, Android and Desktop
Works with: Any video platform
Paid or free? FREE with a premium version for $4.99/month
- Premium version lets you share webcam as a ‘picture-in-picture’ so you can chat at the same time – or just use audio if you prefer
- Clean, easy to use interface with ‘Kast TV’ (premium feature)
- No ads in premium
- You can stream games, movies, hangouts or even attend classes via Kast
- Share your screen
- You can choose to download the desktop app or to use it online
- The Android version has had some negative reviews on the Play Store because of bugs. However, a new update with bug fixes has been recently launched.
What is it? A simple video syncing app built by a couple in a long distance relationship 🙂 . Works on Chrome, Firefox and web.
Works with: YouTube, Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Vimeo, CrunchyRoll, web and even personal video files (paid version for $3/month also offers Disney+ and Hulu)
Paid or free? FREE but with a premium version for $3/month
- Webcam option allows you to see each other whilst you watch
- With TwoSeven, you can even sync personal video files (so you can watch and reminisce about your travels and favourite times together)
- Similar to NetflixParty/Teleparty, each person needs their own log-in to a streaming platform – this also means you can only see videos that are available already in your region
What is it? A simple Chrome extension and web app for syncing a handful of streaming services
Works with: Web app works with YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Soundcloud, Chrome extension allows you to sync Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+
Paid or free? FREE but with ad-free premium version for £3.49/month
- No need to register to use the app – simply create a room and share the link
- Unlike some other apps where one user is ‘broadcasting’ and others are just watching, this app allows each user to search for content and post videos to the room
- Rooms are private by default (though there’s no limit to where you can share the link)
- Integrated chat room
- Organise content into playlists
- It’s not a huge issue, but the website may be a little confusing to use at first – so be sure to check out the step by step guide before using it
What is it? A Chrome extension and web app that allows you to host private and public watch parties
Works with: Netflix, HBO, Disney+
Paid or free? FREE
- Webcam feature for up to 10 users
- Easy and simple to use
- You can join live watch parties with others (up to 1 million viewers on a stream!) and connect with other users who are fans of the same TV shows and movies
- Private watch parties are for up to 10 people – more than enough for most, but if you’re planning a larger get-together (such as a family thing) you might need to use a different app
- As with other apps for paid streaming services, everyone will need their own subscription to the streaming service you’re watching and can only view things that are available in their region
To the best of my knowledge, all of the details above should be true as of November 11th 2020 – but chances are always good that I’ve overlooked something or missed a fantastic app from this list. If you have any feedback or ideas for how to improve or expand this list, please do let me know 🙂
Looking for more apps for long distance couples?
If you’re always looking for more creative ways to stay connected with your S.O., I’ve written another post about the best apps for long distance couples – check it out below!