08
Apr
unnamed

Everyone who uses Netflix on Android will be getting the latest update to the official app, but only those who use the popular service with Google's Chromecast streaming device are likely to notice what has changed. According to the official change log, the 3.3 update adds an "enhanced second screen experience" and "playback optimizations," and nothing else. That seems to mean a few UI changes to the Netflix Chromecast streaming interface.

Screenshot_2014-04-07-22-03-10 Screenshot_2014-04-07-22-03-00

Old below, new above.

Screenshot_2014-04-07-22-00-24 Screenshot_2014-04-07-22-07-20

Specifically, the Chromecast interface now has a more boxed cover art for whatever movie or episode you happen to be playing, mirroring the UI that appears when you're playing something on your phone or tablet itself. Tap the "down" button and you'll go back to the standard browse view, with the active movie or episode continuing in a "now playing" ribbon at the bottom of the screen. It's a title instead of an image view (which should be better for quickly seeing content) and the full stop button is gone. The rewind button is now 30 seconds instead of 10. Presumably those changes have been made after some testing and/or feedback.

That's about it - if there are any more significant changes in the latest version, we can't find them and Netflix isn't saying. Subscribers can download and use the app for free.

Note: We previously has the old and new interfaces mixed up. Sorry for any confusion.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    I noticed a similar change to the plex app an update ago. Casting is becoming a lot more user friendly. I just hope the Google TV boxes get updated to Android TV with casting built in. I'm tired of using these "hack" was to get it to work 50% of the time

  • Arthur de Souza

    I think you invert the pictures, above is the new interface

    • Stylus_XL

      Yeah, I was confused by that.

    • Luciano Goncalves

      "and the rewind button is now ten seconds instead of 30"
      invert pictures, review, everything...

      • makapav

        No it's the other way around, is now 30 seconds in the new version instead of the annoyingly short 10 seconds.

        • ddpacino

          UGH! That was TOO annoying.

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      Yup, I got this interfaces mixed up. Sorry about that. The article has been corrected.

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      Yup, I got this interfaces mixed up. Sorry about that. The article has been corrected.

  • mine

    The volume is hard to use now. Now there's no on screen volume you have to use the hardware keys. Sometimes they work for Netflix sometimes the ringer volume. Annoying.

  • Taco Monster

    Does anyone else have the bezel swipe for nav drawer disabled as of this update?

    • Tony Raffini

      Yes and it is annoying the crap out of me. :(

    • neffix

      Yes, and the button to extend the drawer is really tiny instead of being the entire netflix logo like it should.

  • Dave

    The top set of pics looks a lot more elegant.

  • David Belyea

    For gods sake, give as auto-play next episode!

    • ImSteevin

      I feel like they have been slowly phasing that out of many device apps, it's gone from xbox 360 app as well

      • Matthew Fry

        Still on the PS3 last time I used it.

    • earth

      Yeah, not happy to see that go for TV series. Is OK to remove from auto playing movies but would be nice to have for TV series. Maybe it's a way to save bandwidth.

      Speaking of bandwidth, I got Google Fiber in KC last weekend, haven been working on a review here with speedtests and traceroutes to the coasts...

      http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29157624-Google-Fiber-Kansas-City

      • ddpacino

        Auto-Play is an issue with Hulu too. Think it may be something with Chromecast.

        • Chris Vander Maas

          Its to save bandwidth, Hulu pauses after 3 episodes so it doesn't keep playing while you sleep.

          • ddpacino

            True. Netflix on my 360 does the same from my Experience. What I'm referring to is playback on the Chromecast. Autoplay doesn't work at all for Netflix or Hulu.

    • firesoul453

      It costs them lots of money when people leave it on and go to bed.

      • Danny Lewis

        But it is okay to auto-advance when you are using your computer, smart TV, or game console?

        • firesoul453

          I'm saying they want to limit it as much as possible. Even on PC seems like it asks you if you are watching way more often than it used to.

      • ddpacino

        Is this true? I mean, with the way they had to remove titles because providers were increasing the fees, I understand. On my 360, Netflix would auto play like 3 episodes in a series in a row before needing your input.

    • Danny Lewis

      I totally agree! I haven't used this new interface yet, but the damn episode list button is disabled! So, you have to go to the Netflix app start screen and pull up the series and then select the next title to watch. Just give us a next button or something!

    • ltredbeard

      I may be one alone, but I'm glad they don't auto play.

    • Sir_Brizz

      I don't even care if it doesn't autoplay if you can just press one button to move along.

  • Tony Pettinato

    This has been out for a few weeks or so. Really nice.

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      Where? In what form? I use Netflix with Chromecast daily and didn't have this until I checked this article and found the update.

      • Kurt Laws

        I can't tell you how long for sure, but I've had that newer interface for probably at least a week and probably longer.

        • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

          Are you in some sort of a Netflix beta program? Because that's definitely new for the rest of us.

          • Kurt Laws

            If I am, it's news to me

          • Tony Pettinato

            Might just be a staged rollout from the Play Store.

        • Arthur Dent

          Same here. I have seen this casting UI for at least a week or so. Not sure why, no beta program participation here that I know of.

        • Matthew Fry

          Same here. Can't tell you how long since I rarely cast. I saw it last week.

  • sam1331

    30 seconds seems a little long... I use that button quite a bit.

    • Jakes

      I guess it's a matter of preference. More often than not, the 10 second button doesn't go far enough for me, and I have to press it multiple times, which occasionally causes things to slow down.

      • Jakes

        The problem I have with 10 seconds is that by the time I realize that 10 seconds wasn't enough, a few seconds have already passed, and after I press the replay button again, a few more seconds pass before it registers. Therefore, it's more like a 5-7 second replay instead of 10 second replay.

  • Rodalpho

    It's not actually chromecast only. All devices with the new HTML5 netflix UI support DIAL streaming with the same UI. This includes the roku3 and the new amazon firetv.

    Youtube works the same way.

  • Rodalpho

    It's not actually chromecast only. All devices with the new HTML5 netflix UI support DIAL streaming with the same UI. This includes the roku3 and the new amazon firetv.

    Youtube works the same way.

  • TechWings

    Okay, Netflix. See the redesign of your casting UI? Take that and apply it throughout the rest of the app.

  • Jake

    What's the top-center button for? It looks like a TV with a curved arrow pointing out of it.

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      I believe that's "share," to let others know via other apps what you're watching.

      • Jake

        Ah, that makes sense. Thanks.

  • Giovonni Fareed

    i kinda liked the old interface better lol..

  • Jeff

    I loved the feature where when I played Netflix on chromecast, my phone's welcome screen (the one that appears when you press the power button) had a pause button. This allowed me to quickly pause the show and start playing again when I was ready to resume watching. The new update removed this for whatever reason. Very annoyed.

    • Jeff

      Nevermind, my bad. The feature is still there.

  • Andy

    Does anyone have the apk available? Thanks!

  • dfizzo

    So ever since the new Netflix update was pushed out my Chromecast keeps giving me a connection error when I try to use Netflix with it. No matter if I go through the app on my phone or in my browser I get the same "Unable to connect to Netflix" error.

    Anyone else have this problem?