Popcorn Time Android apps put the wide selection of movies and TV shows on your smartphone or tablet. You won’t find it in Google Play so you will have to manually install the Popcorn Time apk file yourself. Lucky for you; it’s very easy.
The Popcorn Time Android apps support Chromecast and AirPlay so if you already own one of those clever little things you’re only a few steps away from a wireless and easy to use solution where you navigate the menus on your smartphone or tablet and send the playback to your TV via Chromecast or Apple TV.
Since a Smart-TV app doesn’t exist yet this is probably the closest we can come to the perfect setup. However, if you have a compatible device you should check out our article on Popcorn Time for Android TV.
Quite a few of the Popcorn Time clones come as Android apps (popcorntime.io, time4popcorn, Flixtor and Show Box [only Android]) but you can’t find any of the in Google Play (Android app store). This is, of course, because of the controversial nature of the service and even though Google is a lot more lax than Apple regarding authorization of apps, they’ve still – to no surprise – deemed Popcorn Time “too much”.
Consequently you need to go through a few steps of first downloading the Popcorn Time Android app installation file to your device, then telling Android it’s ok to install it despite not coming from Google Play and lastly actually installing it.
Installing the Popcorn Time apk
First you need to download the installation file or apk file and put in on your phone. One way is by downloading it on your desktop PC and transferring it to the devices’ SD-card (remember where). Another method is downloading it directly to the Android unit where it’s placed in the “download” folder.
There are several Popcorn Time Android apps so you have to pick one and download the apk from the website. You can choose between popcorntime.sh, Popcorntime CE and time4popcorn. Which you prefer is a matter of taste and they all work very well. Other but less developed alternatives are Show Box and PlayBox.
The next thing you need to do is to allow installation of the app. Out of the box apps from “unknown sources” (i.e. not from Google Play) can’t be installed but this security measure is easily disabled and can just as easily be re-enabled afterwards.
On your device go to Settings -> Security and tick off “unknown sources” to allow installation of apps downloaded outside Google Play. This will enable you to run the Popcorn Time apk file that installs the app.
Once the Popcorn Time apk is downloaded and you’ve altered the security settings, navigate to the download folder with either a file manager or the “Downloads” app native to Android. Locate the Android app apk file *(it has a .apk file extension), open it and follow the instructions. You’re now ready to enjoy Popcorn Time on your Android device!
Dealing with the “cannot open file” error
Some experience problems when trying to install the apk file and get the “cannot open file” error which means the installation won’t start. It looks like it’s related to the browser app as it most often happens when trying to install the apk directly in the browser after downloading it.
The easiest solution is to find and open the file by some other means like a file browser/commander. The most recent versions of Android have a native “Downloads” app that should take you to the download location of the apk file. If your Android device doesn’t have the app you need to install a file commander, most will do.
If that doesn’t work, the last solution is to find an “apk installer” in the Google Play Store. If that doesn’t work either you should throw your phone or tablet out the window. You could also try downloading the Popcorn Time apk again; maybe the download somehow corrupted the file.
Using Popcorn Time for Android
In case you’re curious about what the Popcorn Time for Android looks like we’ve put together a few screenshots of the app on a smartphone running Android 6.0 (Lollipop).