It’s no secret that many of us don’t just simply sit in front of the television anymore. I don’t know about you, but when I watch TV, I’ve also got my iPhone or my iPad in my hand, playing games or reading the Internet.
Netflix is well aware that we like to utilize multiple screens, and the company is hoping to take advantage of that fact with some all new second-screen control features
Just a few weeks back, Netflix debuted second-screen control for the PS3, allowing users to control Netflix on their game consoles with the Netflix app on their Android or iOS smartphones.
Soon, that functionality will trickle over onto other devices, allowing all Netflix users to control their apps on their TVs, gaming consoles, and set top boxes with their phones and their iPads.
“We expect to roll out 2nd screen control on a number of additional devices in the coming months,” said one Netflix spokesperson.
“Our overall strategy around second screen control is that Netflix on TV devices is a great viewing experience, but Netflix on mobile devices makes activities like browsing, searching, rating, and social easier. We see our users doing this naturally today and are trying to support and optimize for that behavior.
Personally, I use Netflix just as described. While I watch it on my Apple TV, I much prefer to search for content using my iPad because it’s a faster, easier to use interface. I’d love to be able to seek out content and then play it on the TV, using the iPad as a remote control.
Such controls would also facilitate faster forwarding and rewinding, which can be difficult to do using the Apple TV or the Xbox 360.
Current PS3 users who are able to use their phones to control Netflix on the gaming console must be logged into both the phone app and the console app at the same time, with the same account, and the same Wi-Fi connection. It’s likely that other second screen devices will have the same requirements.
Being able to use devices like the iPhone and the iPad as remote controls for the Netflix app is a fantastic addition that will likely attract even more customers to the product because it will improve search and content discovery.
Do you use your iPad or your iPhone while you watch TV? What do you think of using the mobile Netflix app as a remote control for the streaming video on your TV?