The Netflix iPhone application is one of the top 100 in the Apple App Store. Also available to iPad and iPod touch users, the Netflix iPhone application gives users the ability to watch the same movies and television shows right from the iPhone. This instant streaming app for iPhone is free for users; however, it does require a Netflix subscription to utilize its features.
About the App
The application requires users to sign in to their Netflix account before downloading and using it. A basic Netflix account costs $8.95 a month and the app will run on any device using iOS 3.13 or newer. The basic account allows users to rent a single DVD at a time, which ships to the user’s home in addition to allowing users to watch as many movies and television shows they want from their computer. However, to use the iPhone application, the subscriber must subscribe to the unlimited plan after the trial period expires. Additionally, if users want to watch these movies and shows from other devices, they must subscribe to the unlimited plan as well, which is more expensive.
After logging into the Netflix account from the application, users are given a choice of what they want to do; browse based on previous searches, browse new movies or new television shows and browse “Movie’s You’ll Love.” Additionally, users can choose from various tabs to switch from the home page to genre listings, a search page, and an instant Queue page if the user’s Netflix account has one.
Movie and Video Playback
Playing videos using the Netflix iPhone application is allowed on both the 3G service and Wi-Fi network service. However, those without unlimited data plans should watch on Wi-Fi, otherwise, they would incur massive overages on their bill. However, if using the 3G network, keep in mind that the video buffers constantly as compared with Wi-Fi, which plays seamlessly; no buffering or other hiccups. Once the video starts, users are presented with a slider bar so they can fast forward, pause, rewind and stop the video.
This app allows users to pick up where they left off if they have to stop a video in the middle of playback. Additionally, if a phone call or text message is received in the middle of a video, the video will pause itself to alert the user. The user can reject or accept the call or message and the app will resume where it left off once the action is taken.
Downfalls with this App
While the Netflix application is the most popular movie viewing application available on the iOS platform, the app itself lacks a few distinct features, which should have been included since users are required to sign up for an unlimited account. For example, the app lacks some of the genres found when using Netflix at home. Additionally, users cannot synchronize their video orders from the application. For example, users cannot watch anything they have ordered at home. They must re-order the video from the app using the Watch Instantly Queue instead. Additionally, the Watch Instantly Queue cannot be re-ordered so the titles added must be added to the bottom of the list only.
Overall, the simple fact that the iOS platform can finally stream video is a feature that many users are happy to have. Not only does the Netflix application whet the appetite for this newly acquired feature, but it does it better than others do. With an average user rating of three and a half stars out of four, the Netflix app for iPhone is one of the top rated and for good reason.