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Netflix

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Netflix is bumping prices on all streaming plans

Netflix launched its streaming video service 12 years ago, forever changing the way many of us watch TV. The cost for its all-you-can-stream subscriptions has gone up over the years, and it's time for another price hike. All three tiers of Netflix service are going up, but T-Mobile has your back (for now).

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Pixel 3 and 3 XL seem to have silently picked up HDR support in Netflix

Content quality in Netflix covers a range from old-school SD to a brain-searing 4K, further augmented by the option for HDR — which, in Netflix's case, is effectively an extended color gamut. We've kept an eye on which phones snag the feature, and based on recent reports, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL appear to have just picked it up.

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Netflix passes 500 million installs on Play Store

The Play Store doesn't provide very precise metrics for app installs, but it does give us general milestones of their success, and Netflix just reached a major one. The ubiquitous streaming service has now reached 500,000,000 installs — that's 500 million, if you don't care to count the commas or zeros.

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You can now ask an Assistant speaker to play Netflix on Android TV

Android TV devices are supposed to have all the functionality of a Chromecast, since they also act as Cast targets. However, there are still some quirks that remained unresolved. Netflix integration with Google Assistant went live nearly two years ago, allowing users to say "Hey Google, play The Office on Netflix" (or something to that effect) to an Assistant speaker, and the content will start playing on their default TV.

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Netflix is launching a new TV interface starting today

Netflix has announced that a new interface for its TV experience is rolling out starting today. The updated layout, seen above, includes separate tabs for movies and TV series, among others. It's not clear which specific apps are getting the new look and when — Netflix only said that the update "will begin rolling out to members all over the world today."

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Walmart reportedly considering streaming service to compete with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

Retail behemoth Walmart is thinking about launching a low-cost streaming service in the same vein as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, sources tell The Information. While the venture would be expensive, it could potentially aid Walmart in its ongoing battle against Amazon, which has taken a bite out of the profits of many brick-and-mortar retailers.

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Netflix Fast.com internet speed test now measures upload and latency

Netflix's Fast.com internet speed test is pretty much the defacto way to check download throughput. Since it uses Netflix's servers to test, you can easily check if your ISP is throttling your video. And it's more likely to reflect the sort of speeds you'll actually see in the real world compared to things like speedtest.net, which often reports unrealistic or inflated numbers. Now Netflix has added some extra info to its test, including latency and upload speeds. 

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Netflix 'Smart Downloads' feature will remove watched episodes and download the next one automatically

Netflix launched video downloads in 2016 after years of begging and pleading by subscribers. Unfortunately, a lot of content isn't available for download because of restrictions by rights holders, but Netflix is making downloads more convenient for the content that is supported. With the new Smart Downloads feature, the app can delete thing you've watched and grab the next episode automatically.

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Netflix is testing an expensive new 'Ultra' subscription tier

Towards the end of last year, Netflix raised its prices in the US, with the most expensive option (Ultra HD, 4 screens) increasing from $11.99 to $13.99. In Europe, that top tier costs €13.99 (£9.99 in the UK). Thankfully, it doesn't look like Netflix is planning to hike its current subscription prices any further, but a new even higher tier could be on the way.

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Netflix finally redesigns its player UI with larger controls, -/+ 10s, and 'Next Episode' button

Netflix might be one of the most popular video-on-demand services on the internet, but it's by no means immune to mistakes. One of those mistakes was its now-former mobile player UI, which just wasn't very well thought-out. The company has finally redone the interface, and it's now much easier to use.

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