Netflix has now officially launched in the UK, bringing with it a formidable streaming experience that works across multiple platforms including iOS and Android. We have had a few days to play with the service now, running it through its paces on various phones and tablets. It is relatively similar on just about every portable and as such we figured an App of the Day that covers Netflix on the mobile was better than examining it on just one platform.
At £5.99 a month and being able to stream over 3G, it is one of the best ways of viewing video on your phone, short of storing it locally on the device's memory. The service goes head to head with LoveFilm in the UK and costs slightly more, it does however have a different content library which some might argue is more extensive. With our Facebook login done and Netflix ticking over nicely, it was time to have a play.
- iPhone, iPad, Android
- Free, requires £5.99 per month subscription
- iTunes, Android
The simplicity of the Netflix app is actually really helpful. It is extremely bare bones, but then what more do you want to do with Netflix other than search and watch video?
The player itself is extremely good, one of the best we have seen on a portable device and only really surpassed by Apple's own video app. It is very fast to buffer and on the iPad and Android tablets, seeks to a specific point extremely quickly. The video quality is also very good on tablets, particularly the iPad, where movies look like they have been saved straight from iTunes.
On Android phones Netflix suffers slightly simply out of the fact that Android's text and resolution varies greatly across phones. The app itself is almost identical, but viewing video on something like the iPhone 4S's retina display is of course going to look better than something like the Wildfire S. That said, the fact that you can get what you can out of Netflix on so many devices is impressive.
We found that the Netflix library was actually quite unusual. This is likely due to the fact that deals haven't been signed in the UK with certain people. You get quite an interesting selection of British content like Doctor Who and the Inbetweeners, but we can't imagine most of it not being available on 4oD and BBC iPlayer. US content like the Office and Breaking Bad is there, as is a good selection of classic movies, but the blockbusters that LoveFilm has just aren't present.
Essentially the app is better than anything on offer streaming wise, but the content library isn't quite there yet. It is growing, however, and should it soon match what the US gets from Netflix, it will easily overtake Lovefilm in terms of viewing.
What do you think to the Netflix app? Let us know in the comments below...