Popcorn Time, the scarily good ‘Netflix for pirates’, has just got better (at least in theory).
Popcorntime.io is one of the major forks of the open source project that was abandoned by its original developers, but was picked up by others. Despite claiming to be the ‘official’ fork (a dispute we have no wish to get involved in), Popcorntime.io has been falling behind its arch rival Time4Popcorn somewhat of late, with T4P offering more in the way of groovy features (note that T4P is now officially called Popcorn-time.se following the seizure of its previous domain name).
Popcorntime.io has, however, with its recent Christmas and New Year announcement, caught up a great deal. New features include:
- An full Android app is now available
- Chromecast and AirPlay are supported
- A VPN is included
Unlike the VPN feature offered by T4P, Popcorntime.io’s VPN is not free, a fact which may put some people off, although in our opinion you generally get what you pay for.
T4P’s VPN provider (Kebrum) keeps extensive usage logs for 3 days (something we were never happy about), while VPN.ht (used by Popcorntime.io) keeps no usage logs, but does keep various connection logs.
We will perform a full review (probably) in the near future, but for now it is worth noting that VPN.ht appears to be liable under the laws of the of the British Virgin Islands (although its parent company Wasabi Technologie seems to be French Canadian), and that it costs $4.99 per month (or $40 per year). New users can register for a 1 month trial costing just $1.
We found that Chromecast support was very patchy when playing media using the Windows client – some films and TV programs worked, but many (most) played fine in the Popcorn Time and VLC players, but would not Chromecast.
We tried using the desktop app with a third party VPN (AirVPN), and found that everything worked well, and that even those movies which did played ball with Chromecast work with Chromecast when the VPN was turned on.
We had less success with the Android app, however, which crashed upon opening when installed on both a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Google Nexus 7 (2013).
Our results were therefore definitely something of a mixed bag, but it is great to see that the popcorntime.io devs are beavering away to make a great app even greater.