This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2010-08-26 at 1:20 p.m.
The permanent URL for this article is: http://tidbits.com/article/11544
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Netflix App Now Available for iPhone and iPod touch

by Lex Friedman

Since the iPad's launch, Netflix [1] customers have been able to stream movies from that company's Watch Instantly service using the Netflix app [2]. Netflix has now made the app universal, so iPhone and iPod touch owners can join their iPad-wielding compatriots in streaming movies to their iOS devices.

Unfortunately, as with the iPad version of the app, Netflix isn't a perfect iOS citizen. As my friend Dan Moren noted over at Macworld [3], the app appears to rely on HTML5 for most of its interface - meaning, the app is essentially a view onto a Web page. That's acceptable, but it means that familiar interactions like scrolling through lists and tapping buttons don't feel quite as smooth as they would in a traditional, fully native iPhone app.

[image link] [4]

That said, I tapped play on a movie, and within seconds it started streaming in excellent quality on my iPhone via Wi-Fi. When I tested it on my 3G connection, Netflix took a bit longer to start streaming, but the quality was still perfectly acceptable.

[image link] [5]

Worth noting, though, is that the Netflix app isn't optimized for iOS 4; if you switch to another app and then return to Netflix, the app doesn't pick up where you left off in your movie - you must navigate back to the film in question first. In addition, the app lacks any means of managing your DVD queue.

Still - streaming movies! On your iPhone! The coolness factor here is off the charts.

[1]: http://www.netflix.com/
[2]: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/netflix/id363590051?mt=8&at=10l5PW
[3]: http://www.macworld.com/article/153675/2010/08/netflix_iphone.html
[4]: http://db.tidbits.com/resources/2010-08/Netflix-iPhone-interface.png
[5]: http://db.tidbits.com/resources/2010-08/Netflix-on-iPhone.png