Netflix releases Android app, but just for five phones

By on May 13, 2011, 8:00 AM

Netflix has finally released an app for Android, although only for smartphones and not for tablets. You can download the app now from the Android Market.

Unfortunately, Netflix playback is supported on just five phones right now: the HTC Incredible with Android 2.2, the HTC Nexus One with Android 2.2 or Android 2.3, the HTC Evo 4G with Android 2.2, the HTC G2 with Android 2.2, and the Samsung Nexus S with Android 2.3. For the owners of these devices, Netflix is touting four main features of the app:

  • It's part of your Netflix unlimited membership.
  • 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.

The limitation to just five Android phones is quite annoying, especially given how long it took Netflix to finally offer an Android app. It may have been better to wait until the company could support more devices before releasing the app. On the other hand, pushing out the software early will result in valuable feedback from early adopters which can in turn be useful for developing the next version.

Netflix tried to explain that because the Android platform has evolved so rapidly, there are significant challenges associated with developing a streaming video application for the ecosystem. The biggest one is the lack of standard streaming playback features that the Netflix app can use to gain broad penetration across all available Android phones. Currently, the lack of standardization means Netflix has to test each individual handset.

The streaming giant says only phones that have requisite playback are being supported right now. The company does, however, expect to work with ecosystem partners to expand playback support to more phones. In fact, many of the technical challenges should be resolved in the coming months, and we should see a Netflix app that works on a large majority of Android phones.




User Comments: 12

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ikesmasher said:

woop didly do! theres like 5 THOUSAND android phones. you got it on 5. nice.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

ikesmasher said:

woop didly do! theres like 5 THOUSAND android phones. you got it on 5. nice.

Did you even read the entire article? They are working on supporting more phones, and expect to have a much larger base of phones running the apps in the coming months. This is one of those situations where the fragmentation that anti-Android fanatics tend to rant about actually rears it's ugly head.

Guest said:

Really?

The Desire is a Nexus One with an HTC logo, and it's only one of the most successful android phones (I'd bet it is #2 two just behind the Galaxy S series).

Way to go :x.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I guess 5 people in this world will be very happy. =)

peperonikiller peperonikiller said:

great day to have an evo lol

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

If I were to guess without reading the article... I'd bet they were working on getting it on more phones.

Guest said:

Works great on my hd2 also.

yRaz yRaz said:

Happy I've had the netflix app on my windows phone since I got it. Eat that android folk

Guest said:

Release it for Canada you bastards.

Guest said:

All of you android bashers are newbs. Within hours of the Netflix release a simple hack has enabled Netflix on the majority of Android devices. Try to do that with your closed source corporate OS. Bill and Steve have assimilated you.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Oh happy day! This is the best news I've heard in minutes, Now you can have Netflix on your smart phone. I guess the only thing now is to drag my 40 inch TV to the trash. I won't be needing it anymore you know? Now that I can watch "Avatar" on a cell phone!

It's kind of comical actually, the people here that will argue all night about which cell phone has a better app for streaming feature films on Netflix, are the first people that would tell me to "get a life".

ikesmasher said:

Did you even read the entire article? They are working on supporting more phones, and expect to have a much larger base of phones running the apps in the coming months. This is one of those situations where the fragmentation that anti-Android fanatics tend to rant about actually rears it's ugly head.

yes i did. and i will believe it when i see it.

rage more. I will think its cool when they support 500 phones instead of 5.

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