Consistent with their “streaming-only” strategy, Netflix announced in January they were dropping the “add to DVD queue” option from all streaming-capable devices. The changes included the iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Blue-ray players and any other Netflix compatible streaming devices you’re using today.
Some of our readers were outraged by the “streaming only” idea. But, have you noticed the sudden change on Netflix’s iPad app interface?
In case you haven’t noticed, Netflix has already changed their application interface. You did not get an application update notification via the App Store, but Netflix did make changes via their own servers. The new interface certainly looks much simpler. But, will Netflix hardcore fans like it?
Netflix’s motivation to change it all was to “concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly”, as stated on the company’s blog. They have been focusing mostly on improving the “streaming only” experience. In the new application interface you will no longer find the physical DVD rental option. The interface is certainly a bit quicker and less cluttered.
When you run Netflix’s new interface, you will only find four main categories – Home, Genres, Search, Instant Queue. Keep in mind that if you want to add physical DVDs to your queue, the DVD queue feature is still completely available on the Netflix website, which is available using Safari on your iPad.
Overall, the four main categories give you the ability to find your movies by category, new arrivals, recently watched titles, or recommended Netflix movies. Each of the video titles will be presented with a picture, in which you can click to start your movie or TV show with a single click. In addition, Netflix also provides you with information such as the video title, customer rating, movie rating, year and running time.
The search capabilities are basic, but Netflix provides a good way for you to find movies and TV shows that are readily available for streaming. I liked the way Netflix has implemented search. It’s simple, but a powerful feature that instantly brings other recommendations from Netflix’s catalog.
However, Netflix has removed a few features that will probably upset some hardcore fans. For example, there are no title reviews. In order to get access to other member and critics reviews, you will have to access the Netflix website separately. “Account Settings” is no longer accessible via the mobile app, but fully accessible from Netflix’s website. I can certainly agree with hardcore fans about the removal of video title reviews since it’s a very useful feature.
According to Netflix, most members use the website to manage their physical DVD queue instead of doing it via their mobile app. Based on this, Netflix is certainly focusing on improving the “streaming experience” considering new competition. And perhaps, like it or not, Netflix could probably move away from the DVD shipping business eventually.
Trust me, in my household we use Netflix’s streaming service quite a bit. Now, if Netflix is so focused on the “streaming only” experience, they need to make sure their streaming library grows at a much faster pace while keeping reasonable prices for the vast majority of consumers. That way they can start moving their consumer base more towards streaming.
Do you like the new Netflix interface?