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.
Chances are, most of you only ever hear about Epix in an article discussing streaming rights (like this one). Epix is an online streaming video service a la Netflix that you can only get access to if you have a cable bundle that includes the site. Or, you know, if you have Netflix. For now anyway. The real value of Epix is the stable of movie rights it brings to the table, and now the joint venture is sharing its media library with Amazon Instant Video for all of the online retail giant's Prime customers.
We've heard whispers that the powers that be have been working on a bulk subscription service for magazines. Now, they're finally delivering it. Next Issue offers users a very Netflix-like subscription service that includes unlimited access to current and some older issues of a selection of magazines for $10 a month. Or, for $15 a month you can get a slightly bigger selection of magazines. Yes, it's tiered.
At the moment, the selection is particularly small, though it does offer quite a few big name magazines.
Despite recent stumbles, Netflix has successfully managed to become the de facto video streaming service in the US, Canada, and Latin America and now it has set its sights on Europe by launching in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This also means that the highly rated Netflix Android app is now available to Android device owners in those same countries.
While Netflix has had support (whether legit or not) for Android tablets for quite a while, there is one thing that can definitely be said about it: the interface was crap. Sure, it worked out great on the phone, but a lot of valuable screen real estate and key components of Android 3.1+ were going to waste on tablets. I guess the Netflix team realized this, because an update has been pushed to the tablet interface that fixes most of the aforementioned issues.