Today one of the more anticipated applications came out on the iPhone. Netflix. The movie rental company that potentially has saved the movie industry. I have downloaded it, played around with it and here is my review of it.
Before Netflix came along, watching movies was limited to YouTube and iTunes loaded movies. As Netflix continued to expand its online streaming capabilities, the world demanded a Netflix app for the iPhone world. Currently, Android is still Netflix-less, but they say an app is coming.
Let’s get into it.
After you login to the app with your Netflix credentials you are taken to the main page. Unlike other devices you stream online content to, this is a pure application driven streamer. You don’t have a device code you have to enter on the Netflix site.
The main menu has a list of the featured Online Available movies. This app is only for the Instant Viewing, you cannot control your Netflix Queue for physical rentals.
As you can see at the top, if you started watching a movie, it keeps track of where you were so you can resume. At the bottom there is an easy to navigate menu.
The Home page is the screenshot.
The Genres section allows you to browse depending on your likes of a particular topic. All of the same options you would find on the main Netflix web page is here.
When you find a movie you like you can go into the movie profile page. Seen below. From there you have the option to add it to your Instant Queue or play it right away. When you are finished you have the option to rate it.
The menus are intuitive, easy, and very smooth in their performance from moving from area to area. But when really surprised me was the quality of the movie during playback.
The video was crisp, the sound was clear and the speed it loaded was very fast. My first test was with the iPhone on my home Wi-Fi and the video worked great. Smooth, great quality and impressive.
However, moving to 3G, the experience was quite different. For the amount of data that needs to flow, it’s understandable. On the 3G network, in my screenshots you can see my signal is about 50%. The video on the highest quality was unwatchable. You can change the quality of the video by dragging your finger up and down on the playback screen. When I changed it to the lowest quality it was better, but still stopped in places to buffer up. On the Wi-Fi it never did that. But I completely understand that 3G can’t handle the data flow speeds that you need for high quality video playback.
Here are screenshots from my iPhone from the playback.
The playback control are easy, basic and simple to use. On the Wi-Fi network, scrolling ahead in the movie was quick, very low buffer times. But on the 3G network, at least for my experience, it’s painful.
Netflix on iPhone is here! Unfortunately, unless you have a full strength 3G connection and can deal with broken pixel, low quality video, this app shines on Wi-Fi. In an airport with Wi-Fi, coffee shop, or wherever you can get on a Wi-Fi network this is a very good app to pass the time. As the network infrastructures advance and get more bandwidth delivery, Wide Area Networks will eventually get there. But right now, high quality video resides on Wi-Fi.
The app is free. If you have an iPhone and a Netflix account, this is a must have app.
One recommendation is that they add the ability to manage my full rental queue, but it by no means a show stopper.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.