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Summary:

Should the same app have a different interface on different devices? Netflix doesn’t think so, updating its Android app for smartphones to replicate the tablet interface found on Android slates and on Apple’s iPad. The improvements make it easier to find and watch content.

Netflix interface on Android

Netflix announced an update to its application for Google Android phones on Monday that brings a tablet-like interface to the small screen. The free Netflix software, found in Google Play, now shows more video titles and images on the screen and also includes prominent links to content that users have started, but not finished, watching, allowing for faster playback where you left off viewing.

Chris Jaffe, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix, told us on-stage at our Mobilize event last week that this user interface was coming soon, so it shouldn’t be a total surprise. Jaffe explained how the interface on tablets is different from that of traditional televisions, adding that “With TV it’s left-right, up-down where as with the iPhone or tablet, it’s omnidirectional. We have to resolve the tension between being ubiquitous and being the best interface for the job.”

Jaffe shows off the new Netflix interface for Android phones in this video and if you’ve seen Netflix recently on a tablet, you’ll note the extreme similarity:

Indeed, the interface is now identical on both my Galaxy Nexus smartphone and Nexus 7 tablet. I particularly like the tapping mechanism Netflix uses now: One tap on a title provides information on the content while a double tap starts playback. And loading up the app on my Apple iPad shows even more consistency: Netflix now has one interface across multiple mobile platforms, which makes it easier to find and watch content regardless of the device used.

  1. Very nice to have a similar interface across platforms! Does the Netflix App allow video output from our Android smartphones? If so, I may finally be ready to give Netflix a shot! I have an HTC Rezound that can output Hi-Def video to an HDMI compatible TV. It’s easier to connect my handset to my HDTV than bothering with connecting my laptop.

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    1. Yes – Netflix looks pretty good on an Android phone, allowing for the tiny screen size.

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  2. please call my compter

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  3. Netflix could really use some sort of anonymized social network interface to help search. I’d like to learn what people in my neighborhood are watching, or friends (without seeing who watched what, and they don’t need to know that I got most of the way through some Abba documentary at 4am).

    The current recommendations and search features feel 10 years old.

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  4. Great, now we get the same shitty Netflix UI on all devices? Viva le HTML5 sluggishness!

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  5. Reblogged this on silentpoisonhack and commented:
    truly a game changer …..

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  6. Can you help me on knowing how to update my netflix on wii

    07763708195 please call me n help me wat to do please imrunning out on movies ive seen

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