The last couple of years have brought increased scrutiny on Google Play's power over Android developers, especially in the wake of its lawsuit with Epic. The company followed Apple's lead back in March, lowering its fees to 15% for the first $1 million in revenue. A newly unsealed consumer lawsuit involving Google has revealed some new facts about how the Play Store is managed behind the scenes, including a secret deal made with Netflix.
Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Sony, Nvidia — all of them are trying to dominate the early and emerging market of streaming games, hosted from powerful servers and broadcast directly to players' screens without the need of a gaming PC or console. But it looks like yet another challenger is approaching this new battlefield, and it has a familiar name: Netflix.
If you've been binging your favorite Netflix show on a recent phone from OnePlus or Oppo, you might have been missing a lot. The Android app has to certify that the devices it's running on (and the software they're using) are of sufficient quality to enable HD playback. That probably has more to do with anti-piracy measures than performance, but that doesn't matter a whole lot to customers who are stuck with lower-quality video.
A week ago Netflix hired a veteran of Electronic Arts and Oculus to be its "President of Game Development," which led Bloomberg to declare that the long-time movie and TV streamer was stepping into the game market. Yesterday Netflix confirmed that this is true in a letter to shareholders: Netflix is indeed going to offer games. But don't throw out your Stadia controller just yet.
We've all been there, frantically downloading media just before the signal cuts off, you get out of Wi-Fi range, or the plane starts taxiing out from the gate. And it's a bummer if your download doesn't finish in time. Thankfully, if it's a Netflix download that gets interrupted, now you'll still be able to watch at least part of it next time that happens.
Mobile phones may seem cramped for watching full-length movies, but they’re still (very) popular among Netflix users, as is evident from its billion-plus Play Store downloads. That’s why the streaming giant keeps an up-to-date list of devices that can offer you the best streaming experience for its app. It isn’t at all surprising that the new OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro are now also compatible with Netflix's streaming standards, along with a bunch of other phones from Oppo and Sharp.
Channel surfing has been a casualty of the switch from cable TV to Netflix or Hulu. Gone are the halcyon days of watching The Shawshank Redemption on TNT just because it's on. Stumbling on a cult classic or a forgotten hit on weekend afternoons might have been left in the past, but Netflix is making an effort to modernize the experience with its new "Play Something" button.
A lot has changed since Netflix burst onto the media scene in the late 2000s. Despite the increased competition, it's still the most popular streaming service globally for watching movies and TV shows on the web, and it's not looking to slow down momentum. Netflix may be planning to launch a new online space designed around enhancing its original properties with bonus features, podcasts, and more.
Google’s new Chromecast dongle has had its fair shareof issues, but none has been as vexing as Netflix refusing to play nicely with the device — which, ironically, has a dedicated Netflix button on the remote. More recently, things have started to change as Netflix is back to integrating well with Google TV’s core functions, just as it did earlier — but there are some parts that aren’t back on track just yet.