The "What's New" text says, quite simply, "Netflix now supports all Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices," and that's undoubtedly good news to the growing legion of Android users. What we have here is an Android app update from Netflix, and it makes the service usable on all Android phones using either Froyo or Gingerbread.
Granted, Netflix has taken something of a PR beating lately, but having greater access to a still-desired product is only a good thing. So, what does the Netflix 1.4 app upgrade promise, besides extension of its service to Android phones? The app page says:
Get Netflix on all Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices. Just download this free app and you can instantly watch TV shows & movies streaming from Netflix.
It's part of your Netflix unlimited membership. Not a Netflix member? Start your FREE trial today. Watch as often as you want. Resume watching where you left off on your TV or computer. Browse movies and manage your instant Queue right from your phone or tablet.
Netflix playback is supported on all Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices.
Clearly, the lesson here is Netflix is now available on more Android phones; and again, as Android saturation continues to take hold of the United States market, this is only a good thing for both parties. Regardless of the backlash, Netflix is still an incredibly huge entity on the movie subscription market. It's important to remember reports of Netflix's dominance from earlier this year:
Netflix knocked over a new milestone Monday: It now has more subscribers than the largest cable TV operator in the U.S.
Netflix's global subscriber base grew almost 70% over the past year, to 23.6 million users. With that audience, it dethroned Comcast as the country's biggest provider of subscription video content. More than 7% of Americans now subscribe to Netflix.
Considering Android's reach, it's reasonable to think that quite a few of the seven percent use Android devices. That being said, the Netflix update is not officially for Android tablets, making its use a dubious matter.
Reaction to the update has been largely positive, provided its ranking and the latest comments are any indication, and there's a report of app success on an Android tablet:
david– September 10, 2011
Very happy to have Netflix on my Droid works great. No problems so far ty Netflix. And now on my samsung galaxy tab wo ho!!!
by R.– September 10, 2011
Well worth it. I love the movie selection and it is a life saver on long trips with the kids in the car. Plenty of things for them to watch too.
Ken Kennedy– September 9, 2011
I like the app a lot, but on my gTablet with Cyanogenmod, I'm not seeing the play buttons for specific episodes in a series list (ie, the only play button on the screen is at the top). On my Nexus S, there are play buttons next to every episode, so you can pick them easily. There's no developer contact/bug report in the overview that I see, so I'm posting here. Hopefully an easy fix!
The ability to stream this kind of media to mobile devices it's honestly surprising the the television manufacturing industry hasn't reacted the same way the RIAA reacts to Internet music. If these manufacturers were an actual association, this might be a different story, because this kind of technology is a threat to the home television market.