Two weeks ago, we took a look at the invite-only beta of Redbox Instant. In that article, we gave a brief glimpse into what the fledgling service's library had to offer. Of course, the inevitable question had to be asked: how does it stack up against Netflix? Or Amazon Instant Video for that matter? While we're at it, how does Google's Play Store compare? Those are pretty big questions! So, they deserve pretty big answers.
At last, my collection is complete. Just the other day I received my invite to the beta of Redbox Instant. I was excited. The idea sounds great: it's like Netflix, but you also get four monthly credits at Redbox rental kiosks! Awesome, right? What's that? Verizon has something to do with it? Well, no matter. It's not exclusive to the carrier's handsets, so I'm sure it's nothing to worry about!
Hi, my name is Eric Ravenscraft and I'm an addict. I have a weakness for trying out new online media services. I've signed up and, where applicable, paid for Spotify, Rdio, MOG, Rhapsody, Pandora, Last.fm, Jamendo, Grooveshark, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Epix, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, and virtually every other movie and music streaming service on the internet. So it bugs me that I haven't yet been invited to add Redbox Instant to my collection of collections.
We've been hearing rumblings for a while now about Redbox partnering with Verizon for a streaming service. Today, the company announced the details of that arrangement: for $8/month you can get access to unlimited streaming of a selection of movies (including the EPIX library which, for those who don't know, is pretty impressive), as well as four monthly credits to rent a physical movie for one night from any Redbox kiosk.
In times past, there have been concerns about Netflix' ability to continue acquiring rights for streaming video content. The more users the company gets, the more pressure there is to get high-profile content. After the loss of the Starz deal, there was some doubt, but today there is a renewed hope for fans of Netflix and Disney at least: the two just inked a deal that will bring first-run movies from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel, and Disneynature to the streaming service in 2016.
Netflix has been gently updating and adding features ever since it debuted on Android, and while today's addition isn't earth-shattering, it'll be welcome to anyone with a shiny new Nexus device. The primary addition to the 2.1 update is full support for Android 4.2, but the player UI has also gotten a pretty big facelift. Bigger buttons and more transparent elements make it a lot easier to pinpoint tracking, and the whole thing seems at least superficially faster.
The Netflix for Android app received a minor update today, adding compatibility for four new countries: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. The update also adds improved subtitles for Android 4.0+ devices, which is cool, I guess.
Yeah, those subtitles are noticeably improved.
But most importantly, I've noticed on two of the three devices I've updated, the app doesn't run at the god-awful pace it has since it was released. Scrolling on a Galaxy S III, Optimus G, and Nexus 7 is vastly improved, and much smoother.
Yesterday, Netflix introduced a new UI for Android phones that brings it more in line with the tablet version. While most of the new features were detailed in a video, they apparently missed one major selling point: the app can now be used to control the Netflix app on a PS3 running on the same Wi-Fi network. See it in action:
It seems that not everyone has this feature yet - we've seen a few comments here and there form users who can't seem to replicate what happens in this video, even under the same circumstances.
Following the release of of its updated app earlier this month, Netflix has officially launched its new Android interface today for users running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or later on their smartphones.
The new interface manages to fit a lot of content on your screen at once, and users will notice that there is a new 'continue watching' row at the top of the screen. This feature has been available on tablets for a while, but this latest update shows the content that you've recently been watching, and lets you continue from the point where you left off.
It's a big day for Netflix: the Android app for both smartphones and tablets has been updated to version 2.0. So with this earth-shattering update to everyone's favorite streaming service, they've added... a WiFi switch. That's it. It makes sure you won't use your mobile data while streaming movies or TV shows. There doesn't seem to be much else to justify a full version bump from 1.8.1.
Alright, to be fair, there are a few user interface tweaks.