Cartoon Network has just released a new app for all Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models. The app itself is quite nice and a refreshing change from the cookie-cutter streaming video apps we’ve been seeing lately from big networks. The app provides free ad-supported streaming of the latest episodes of most shows on Cartoon Network. If you have a cable subscription, you can use it to activate the app and unlock even more content.
The Cartoon Network app takes a different and interesting approach the first time it gets launched. Instead of taking you straight to the its home screen, you’re presented with a list of shows on the network and asked to select your favorites. The shows you select go into a “Your Mix” list that appears are the top of the home screen. It’s essentially a list of favorites that you can modify at anytime.
The home screen itself is also different from your average streaming video app. It essential serves as the main video player in addition to giving you access to the rest of the app’s areas. At the top is the video player, which seems to always try to play something in the background while you’re navigating around. Below that is “Your mix” which lists the latest episodes of the shows that you’ve selected as your favorite shows. Lastly, at the bottom, is a list of all shows and collections available within the app.
Selecting a show naturally brings up all episodes for that show. Cartoon Network has done a nice job of making obvious which episodes are available for you to view. If you don’t activate the app with a cable provider, you get free access to the last 5 episodes of each show, for the most part. Those episodes are marked with an “unlocked” banner in the upper-right corner. Episodes that you don’t have access to, because the app has not been activated, are parked with a key icon. Videos that are just always free to everyone, which consist mostly of minisodes and clips, have no banner or icon on them.
If you activate the app with a cable provider, you get access to everything within the app. What that means varies greatly from show to show. For some shows, it seems as if all episodes from all seasons are available to stream. While, for other shows, the selection s very sparse and random. As you can see from the screenshot above, for Regular SHow in Space, you get seasons 1, 3, 4, 5, and 8. However, digging into those seasons reveals you don’t even get access to the whole season. For example, season 5 only has episode 13 and 23 available, for some odd reason.
Overall, this new Cartoon Network app is one of the better apps to come from a network. There is a decent amount of free content available for cord cutters and the layout makes it easy to get to your favorite shows. Of course, it would have been nice to see a live stream within the app, but if you’re a fan of these shows, it’s definitely an app worth installing.