Hulu Plus makes unusual Android tablet debut

Posted by Mark Raby

Hulu has just added support for its first Android tablet, but it's not the one you might expect.

Instead of the more popular models like the Xoom or Galaxy Tab, Hulu has added Vizio's low-cost tablet as its flagship move into the Android tablet territory.

The Hulu Plus app is available for the iPhone and iPad, as well as all sorts of Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, and set-top boxes.

When it comes to Android, though, the video streaming service has spotty availability. Like Netflix, instead of releasing a widely available Android app, the Hulu Plus app recognizes the device and will only run if it is a specifically supported model.

While it sounds like it would have made more sense for Hulu to work on support for one of the more high-profile Android tablets first, the reason it went with Vizio's offering is likely that it is powered by Android 2.3, the same version of Android that most of the Hulu-supported phones run, as opposed to Android 3.0+ ("Honeycomb").

In addition to letting users stream a huge back catalog of movies and TV shows, the largest value in Hulu Plus is that users are able to watch the most recent episodes on their supported devices.

That, in some ways, almost makes it a replacement for cable TV service. Almost.

Hulu will continue to add support for more Android products, phones and tablets. There is a race between it and Netflix to grab the most support, and so far it has been a game of back-and-forth.