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TV Junkies, There's a Better Way to Track Everything on Your Watch List

Tired of Googling release dates for TV shows and movies? Get into these apps to track titles on Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus and other streaming services.

Do you regularly run a search to check when shows like Stranger Things return to Netflix? How about streaming dates for Better Call Saul, Top Gun: Maverick or the anime hit My Hero Academia? Keeping up with what's available on multiple streaming services can become a bit of a chore if you don't have a system.

So what's the best way to chase down information for releases on Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu and the like? Write it on a sticky note? Pop it in your phone's calendar? While those methods may be effective, there are apps that do it better.

Here are my suggestions for free apps that help you track streaming TV shows and films you plan to watch, ones you're immersed in and titles you may be curious about but need solid recommendations. They can alert you when new episodes are set to drop or remind you where you left off in a show. I should mention that some apps below are integrated with Trakt, a web-based platform that syncs with your PC, phone or home media center, but its native app is still pretty clunky, so we left it off this list. 

Read more: Best Original TV Shows to Stream on Starz

Screenshot by Kourtnee Jackson/CNET

TV Time is available for Android and Apple users and you can sign up for an account using Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook or email. Choose what shows you've watched on which streaming service (or network). Interestingly, when scrolling through Hulu's selections, only its originals are listed but the app tells you that you can add more later.

With TV Time, you can choose from multiple lineups, including Trending Shows like The Boys, Shark Tank, House of the Dragon or The Rings of Power. There are also categories for genres, a "Most Added" section with titles such as You, Riverdale, American Horror Story, and Rick and Morty, and even a "Most Added Animation Series" row.

Once you lock in your choices, TV Time collates a Watch List and suggests which episodes of your chosen shows you should watch next. There's a separate tab labeled "Upcoming" that outlines the day and time that new episodes drop. Thanks to TV Time, I now know the exact premiere dates for Andor on Disney Plus and Big Mouth season 6 on Netflix.

The app also prompts you to check off which movies you've watched, and the list spans decades, platforms and genres. Even newer movies like Thor: Love and Thunder are on here. Once you've completed that step, TV Time then asks what movies you want to watch. Here is where you search for specific titles or pick from TV Time's trending list to add them to a calendar. To test, I added Knives Out 2 (Netflix), which was seamlessly added to my calendar for the fall.

Additionally, you can filter your TV Time display by progress -- including what you finished, shows and movies you stopped midway or what you're currently watching.

Screenshot by Kourtnee Jackson/CNET

You may already be familiar with JustWatch as an app that curates where a title is streaming, but you can also make a watchlist, track upcoming releases, and watch a show with a single click. Once you open the app, you can select each streaming service you use -- including Disney Plus, Crunchyroll and Fubo -- to watch shows and films. There are 100-plus providers listed on JustWatch, and the app recently added a streaming guide for sports.

Use the app to search for TV shows and movies or click Discover to go on a scrolling adventure. Narrow your search by platform, genre, year or rating. When you click a show tile, you can tap "Track" to keep up with every episode and season. JustWatch will ask which episodes you've watched, and you can check off entire seasons or individual installments. Where this app stands out is when you navigate to "Watch Now" to click a streaming service's logo, and you're immediately taken to the show's landing page to begin watching. Talk about convenience.

Add a title to your watch list, and JustWatch tells you which episode to watch next or you can check off when you're caught up. It also displays the dates for upcoming episodes.

For sports fans, JustWatch Sports directs you to where you can stream football (NFL and NCAA), soccer (MLS, Liga MX and all major European leagues), tennis and Formula 1 legally online. Basketball and baseball guides are coming soon.

The app also has a personal recommendation feature and displays the price of each streaming platform. You can use JustWatch on a web browser, on Fire TV devices or on iOS and Android mobile devices. Sign up directly on the app or with your Google or Facebook account.

Hobi

Available on iOS and Android, Hobi is one of the most popular and comprehensive tracking apps out there. When you open it, you can select the shows you plan to watch or have watched, and Hobi indicates where you left off. The titles are added to your watch list. If it's an old show, Hobi lets you know the series ended but still reminds you which episodes are next for you. The Discover feature highlights trending shows, series returning in the current week, new ones airing for the month, and recommendations across genres and networks, including HBO and Netflix.

In addition to monitoring your watch list and new episode release dates, Hobi provides personal viewing stats on how much TV you've watched. It also estimates your favorite genres based on those statistics. The app can be integrated with Trakt.

Screenshot by Kourtnee Jackson/CNET

SeriesGuide is available on Android and Amazon Fire TV, and touts that it has no ads and doesn't track your personal information.

When you first sign on to SeriesGuide, it gives you the option to block spoilers for show episodes you haven't watched yet. You can either search for a title or click Discover and scroll through a lengthy list of content. Like Hobi and TV Time, the app lets you know which platform houses the series or movie you'd like to watch or track. It also integrates with Trakt.

Once you select your shows, SeriesGuide provides upcoming release dates or recent release dates and times. For example, the display shows that Stranger Things 4 episode 9 dropped five days ago on Netflix at 3 a.m. ET, and Harley Quinn season 3 drops on HBO Max in three weeks on a Thursday. I've been able to glean tracking information for content on Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video, HBO Max, Paramount (Yellowstone) and more.

Its movie listings are pulled from TMDB and JustWatch, and you'll find the release date, run time, cast credits and synopsis on the page. You can add films to your personal watchlist, click on the trailer link or tap the Stream/Purchase option if the digital version is available. 

Among its features, there's a notification system that alerts you when new episodes are available, a favorites list and a catalog of how many episodes remain unwatched per season. With SeriesGuide, you can click "Skip" and the app will consider an episode watched. The user interface is very easy to navigate, and you can sync alerts to your device's calendar, rate content or check out your viewing statistics for movies and shows.

Screenshot by Kourtnee Jackson/CNET

Cinetrak allows you to track both TV shows and movies, but you have to set up a Trakt log-in in order to create watch lists. You will see ads at the bottom of the screen, but the interface is clean and intuitive. Under the TV Shows menu, you can find titles under several categories: Genres, Trending, Popular and Top Watched. Click on a series and Cinetrak pulls up general information about the show and the seasons. Tap the plus sign to add a show by title, episode or season. 

The calendar feature allows you to see episodes that have been watched, added to collections or added to your watch lists. Basic access is free, but you can upgrade your account for additional features such as creating "Liked" lists, curated collections or sharing with friends.

Streaming TV tracker apps FAQs

What about privacy concerns?

Take the time to review the privacy notices and settings for each service. JustWatch explains that it collects user data that may be used to target ads based on your movie tastes, while TV Time also uses nonpersonal information for marketing and advertising purposes. With the latter, you're also able to toggle your personal account settings and set it to private, which prevents nonfollowers from viewing your activity. You can also unlink social media accounts.

Should I pay to upgrade for more tracking perks?

Though some of these apps offer the ability to upgrade, we recommend sticking with the free versions, especially if you just want a basic way to remind yourself of upcoming releases or to track your progress for a show. 

Why didn't Reelgood make this list?

Reelgood is an excellent platform that enables you to track movies and TV shows that have already been released or those with scheduled arrivals for the current month. However, it does not provide information for the months ahead. For example, the Quantum Leap reboot is scheduled to premiere on NBC and Peacock in September, but Reelgood only lists information for the original version. Hobi, on the other hand, shows that Quantum Leap season 1 debuts Sept. 19 and the first episode runs for 60 minutes. You can even add it to your Hobi watch list.