Netflix (s NFLX) is releasing a new version of its Android app that will add support for Honeycomb tablets (s GOOG) and expand availability beyond the U.S. With version 1.5 of the Netflix app, which is now available as a free download on the Android Market, Netflix expands the number of devices that its subscribers will be able to access its streaming video service on.
Netflix has been ramping up availability on Android devices over the past several months. Back in May, Netflix made its first appearance on the Android Market, but the app could only be used on a limited number of devices at first. But in September it updated the app to support Android Versions 2.2 and 2.3, which expanded its availability to about 80 percent of current Android phones.
The new version of the app increases that reach even further, by adding support for tablets running Android Version 3.x, otherwise known as Honeycomb. That could boost actual viewership on the Android platform, as users are more likely to watch video on a 7- or 10-inch screen than on the typical 4-inch screen many smartphones use.
In addition to Android tablet support, the updated app will also expand its reach beyond the U.S. For the first time, Netflix users in its international markets — Canada and Latin America — will be able to stream to their Android devices as well. As Netflix makes more of a push in international markets, it will hope to replicate its domestic success, which was driven in part by its availability on connected devices.
Netflix claims availability on some 700 devices, which include mobile phones and tablets, game consoles, connected TVs and Blu-ray players and streaming media players. But not all of those devices are available in those different geographies. Growing the device count and becoming ubiquitous internationally will be important to increasing its subscriber numbers in those markets.