Netflix has launched their free app for iPhone and iPod Touch. It was previously only available on the iPad, but they had promised to expand it to all iOS devices. That day has finally come. Now, for as little as $9/month, you can instantly stream unlimited movies and TV shows on a device that fits in your pocket.
“Apple has changed the game for mobile devices,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and chief executive officer. “We’re excited that our members can now carry Netflix around in their pockets and instantly watch movies and TV shows streamed from Netflix right to their iPhone or iPod touch.”
The app works over 3G or Wi-Fi, so you can keep yourself entertained wherever your are. It has a clean and intuitive interface organized into different categories including popular genres, new arrivals, your personal instant Queues, and personal preferences. Switching between different devices is as simple as ever. If you’re watching something on your iPhone/iPod and decide you want to bring it to your big screen, Netflix drops you in right where you left off.
There are some things that still need some work. You can only see three movies at a time on the screen, which will require excessive scrolling if you have a lot of movies in your queue. Scrolling isn’t as smooth as in other apps because Netflix uses its own custom list view and you can’t tell how far up/down you are. You might be better off using the Search feature than trying to scroll through the lists.
The new app also doesn’t fully take advantage of iOS and the iPhone 4’s retina display. The graphics in the app are low-quality compared to other apps. They have also failed to leverage the fast-app switching (multi-tasking) features of iOS. This means that leaving the app for any reason will end your session and make you to start over when you come back.
Overall, this is still awesome for iPhone and iPod Touch owners, so go download it and tell us what you think in the comments. I suspect that Netflix will address many of the initial concerns and user feedback in later updates. We can also expect Netflix to gain some paying subscribers as they get hooked into the instant streaming on their devices via the 30-day trial.
I just want to know where the Android version is. Rumor has it that Netflix is looking to hire an Android video playback expert, so it may not be that far off.