When the iPad was announced earlier this year I always wondered whether there was going to be something special about it other than the pretty graphics and photos. One of the most amazing things about the iPad is its stunning image quality and the way videos play in this device. One of my biggest surprises for the iPad was the announcement on April 1st about Netflix launching a streaming app for it. I must tell you that it works great! I’m extremely pleased Apple allowed the Netflix app to be approved for the App Store.
Using the Netflix app - Let’s just say you just bought your iPad and wanted to relax and watch your favorite episode of Lost or perhaps a blockbuster movie. If you’re a Netflix member you can do just that with the official Netflix iPad app. All you have to do is download the Netflix app from the App Store and you can instantly watch TV shows and movies directly on your iPad.
Once you start the app, you will be taken to the Netflix website that seems to be optimized for your iPad. You log in as usual, entering your user name and password and the rest of the experience will be very familiar to you. The app takes you to the Netflix website and once you’re there you can do all kinds of things – check your instant queue, browse DVDs, see movie details, movie rankings, search movies and shows, update your queue, watch movie trailers amongst many other things. Bottom line, for all you Netflix subscribers out there, there is no need to learn a new way to do things. You’re already familiar with Netflix, except your video content looks stunning on the iPad.
Other Features - I quickly noticed on the Netflix app, if you start to watch a movie from your computer or TV and want to resume that movie on your iPad, no problem at all. In addition, the app uses the web interface, which gives you the ability to manage your queue or make any account adjustments directly from your iPad.
Video Look and Feel - I played quite a bit yesterday with the Netflix app. I watched 3 movies plus my kids watched 3 different kid shows and a movie. The Netflix app behaved very well with no lag in the GUI or delays with the video content streams. One quick side note, in between those movies and shows my son played tons of YouTube videos for about 2 hours more. My iPad was streaming videos, movies and shows for quite a while. I’m happy to say the battery behaved very well. Given the iPad’s processing power Netflix’s app graphics, rotation and orientation behaved very well.
WiFi only? – Many of our readers asked us about this already. As of now, all you can count on is the WiFi-only version, which by the way works well. What we don’t know yet is whether this will be WiFi-only or will also work over 3G. Not enough data available yet. Let’s just say, the Netflix app was allowed to be part of the App store and consumers liked that move. We have to assume the Netflix app will also be on the 3G iPad. No word yet if later on iPad users would need to upgrade their wireless service to an unlimited plan given the amount of streaming they would do. Still, there is a way for you to enjoy your Netflix subscription on the device.
The Bad - I played quite a bit with this app. I couldn’t find anything bad with it. The features that come with this app and the way it behaves with the iPad simply makes the experience enjoyable.
PadGadget Verdict - Netflix has come out with an app that will help you prepare for a future when you don’t need to use DVDs. If you were still thinking about getting the iPad, perhaps this may help you with that decision. This is a must have for all Netflix users out there.