Plex is a fantastic app. Even if you do little more than customize the interface to suit your own media libraries, it’s head-and-shoulders above other similar apps. However, the best Plex apps can make Plex even better.
The best Plex apps are third-party apps that add extra features to Plex. We’re not talking about plugins or sideloaded channels here. We mean standalone apps that run independently from your Plex Media Server software.
In this article we direct you to the best Plex apps, which, once installed, will make Plex even better.
Tautulli is a web application that monitors your Plex server. It’s probably the best-known third-party Plex app.
As we’ll see in a moment, Tautulli is a must-have app if you’re the administrator of a Plex server that you share with family or friends.
Tautulli offers a mountain of useful monitoring features, including:
- The ability to see who’s watching which videos in real-time.
- A complete watch history log for all users.
- A statistical breakdown of your Plex library.
- Graphs and charts of streaming trends on your server.
You can also use the app to track when people add new content to the server, create newsletters for other users about your recently added media, and set up customized notifications for specific events.
Finally, there’s a Tautulli remote available on Android. At the time of writing it’s still in beta and reviews are mixed.
Download: Tautulli (Free)
If you don’t need all the functionality that Tautulli offers, there are a couple of alternative Plex Server monitoring tools that are worth checking out. Our favorite alternative is PlexWatch.
PlexWatch specializes in issuing real-time notifications when certain actions occur on your Plex Server app. You can choose to receive an alert when a user starts/stops/pauses/resumes watching a video, or when new content is added to your Plex Server.
Importantly for an alert service, a wide variety of notification services are supported. They include email, Twitter, Pushbullet, macOS’s Growl, iOS’s Prowl, and Pushover.
You can also grab data such as the number of current users, stream type, video type and resolution, and even IP addresses.
The app has a separately available frontend.
Download: PlexWatch (Free)
Ombi is a web application. It allows other users on your Plex Server to request new content that they want to watch or listen to.
They can do so by heading to the Ombi website, entering the username you’ve provided, then performing a search for the movie or TV shows they want to watch. Ombi will inform the person if the show is already available on Plex or will provide a “Request” button if it’s not.
You can cycle through the Movies, TV Shows, and Music tabs at the top of the page to request different types of media. Shows are pulled from IMDb and TheMovieDB.
Download: Ombi (Free)
Kitana was launched in 2018 as a response to Plex’s decision to remove plugins from the frontend of its Server and Media Player apps.
Of course, you can still sideload Plex plugins, but the process is a little fiddly and involves diving down into Plex’s file structure.
Kitana aims to provide a solution by offering a responsive, web-based frontend for installing, managing, and deleting Plex plugins.
Remember, Plex has only confirmed that the ability to sideload Plugins will exist for the “foreseeable future,” so support may stop at any time. If support does stop, Kitana will no longer work.
(NB: We’ve written about some of the best Plex plugins if you would like to learn more.)
Download: Kitana (Free)
FileBot is an agnostic tool, so it wasn’t specifically designed for Plex. However, if you have a disorganized media library and want Plex do a better job of recognizing metadata and downloading artwork, it’s a lifesaver.
The app is the best service you’ll find for organizing and renaming your movies and TV shows. And as an added bonus, it can also download subtitles for your media (although you can also download subtitles for Plex from directly within the app).
Some other noteworthy features include customizable episode naming schemes, advanced logic for finding perfect subtitle matches, and an integrated subtitle viewer for SRT, ASS, and SUB files.
Download: Filebot ($6/year or $48/lifetime)
If you use Sonarr and Radarr to download movies and TV shows, Bazarr is the perfect companion for downloading subtitles. It can monitor the shows you’ve added to both apps and find new subtitles as needed.
The app supports more than 25 different subtitle providers, and will continually monitor all of them for subtitle files you’re missing. It can also download a new subtitle file if a better match becomes available, and can handle subtitles in multiple languages.
Even if you don’t use Sonarr or Radarr, Bazarr is still a great app. It can scan your Plex library to find all of the internal and external subtitle files on your system, and then download any missing files.
If you previously used Sub-Zero to download subtitles, Bazarr is the natural successor. The developer of Sub-Zero confirmed he would move to Bazarr after Plex made its decision to kill plugins.
Download: Bazarr (Free)
PlexUpdate is for anyone who’s running their Plex Media Server on a Linux installation. It is a Bash script which runs daily checks for new versions. If allowed, it will also install them. Plex Pass subscribers can even use PlexUpdate to download the beta releases.
Officially, the app only supports Ubuntu, Fedora, and CentOS. However, the developer is confident that PlexUpdate “should work on any modern Linux distribution.”
Some tweaks you can make include forcing the app to download the latest public version of the server (rather than the Plex Pass version) and automatically deleting the package after a successful installation.
Download: PlexUpdate (Free)
What Are the Best Plex Apps You Use?
The nature of third-party apps means that new services are popping up all the time. However, development might stop on a service you’re using without warning. So, we’d love you to reach out and let us know which other Plex apps you would add to our list.
And remember, if you’d like to learn even more about getting Plex to work exactly the way you want it to work, be sure to read our articles on the best unofficial Plex channels and the best devices to use as a Plex media server.