Netflix App Quick Review

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.

About Roberto: A blogger with a passion for applications, gadgets, new technologies, and everything new in this ever-changing technological world. Contact me via Twitter: @PG_Roberto

  • Stuart

    Using the apple video out cable… unlike the youtube app netflix will not project or play this content onto a big screen TV. Not sure why that is.

    • Roberto

      We did run into the same thing. You cannot stream Netflix movies on an external screen.

      Thinking out loud. Apple did allow the app to come to the app store, but maybe Apple wants us all to buy an Apple TV for that other scenario. Not sure yet.

  • HG

    Yes got to agree the Netflix app is a great addition to the iPad. I pre-ordered about 2 weeks after it had gone up on the site. I wasn’t sure if the iPad would work for me but decided to pre-order. Lucky I did because a few days later it wasn’t available till the 12th even though I picked it up at my local Apple store.

    • Roberto

      How do you like your iPad? What have you downloaded so far to it?

  • jordan shoes

    The worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside them knowing you can‘t have them.

  • Phoebe

    I’m curious to see how soon Netflix apps for iPhone and iPod will follow.

    • Roberto

      According to some Netflix reports we’ve seen across the web they are planning an iPhone app to go along with the iPad app. Not sure of specific dates yet.

      We’ve seen reports where Steve Swasey, Netflix VP of Corporate Communications, has stated they plan to release an iPhone app.

      We have to stay tuned.

  • Joe Caridi

    Does video out work with other video apps? ABC app?

  • jane

    lOVE THIS IPAD BUT the Netflix app says that
    it’s not set up to stream the video.
    Anybody know how to fix it?

  • eufreka

    if only you could “rate” movies…this is an obvious port of some type. I would assume it technically doesn’t satisfy Apple’s development restrictions.

  • Arti.gav

    Thanks for the article Robert. Netflix app is great on iPad. If live outside USA, you can use tools like UnoTelly to get Netflix on your iPad.