A Reader Asks:
Are there any websites or apps you can recommend that’ll notify me of the latest movie releases on Netflix?
It can be hard to keep up with what’s on Netflix. Each week, new shows are added and old shows are removed. What’s worse, Netflix doesn’t really let you know. One day, a show might be there, and the next it won’t. Shows are quietly added with little pomp and ceremony. It’s frustrating.
So are there any sites that make it easy to find out what’s new on Netflix – the world’s biggest streaming site? Well, yes. Here are four I found that fit the bill.
Netflixable lists showings for every Netflix region, according by the date they were added to the service. Unusually, these are presented as daily blog posts, with separate articles for movies and TV shows. Each post shows the latest arrivals over the past five days, and is ordered by release date and alphabetical order. There’s also the Netflixable mailing list, which brings the latest Netflix arrivals straight to your inbox. You can also specify your region in order to get the most relevant results.
One of the biggest advantages of Netflixable over other sites is the wide range of regions they provide listings for. Everywhere from the US, to Australia and the Netherlands is covered. One of the biggest problems with Netflix is how the content varies wildly from region to region. But with a VPN (virtual private network), you can spoof your location, and watch a larger range of content.
Netflixable also provide the iStreamGuide app, available for Android (free) and iOS ($2.99). This allows you to search for shows across multiple regions. Although, we’ve seen a lot of complaints about the Android version. Apparently it displays quite intrusive full-screen advertisements, even when the app is closed. The iOS version doesn’t, but that’s probably because it’s a paid application.
Instantwatcher makes use of the Netflix API (what is an application programming interface?) to return listings of new movies and shows on Netflix. Because it uses the API to get the information direct from Netflix’s servers, it should be the most current available at all times.
Simply clicking on ‘new’ in the menu will return a list of the latest movies and TV shows added in reverse chronological order. It’ll also display the age rating of each show, as well the format in which it’s transmitted, and the Rotten Tomatoes score. You can also refine the results by actor, maturity rating, and critic, viewer ratings, and even duration.
Unfortunately, the results are for Netflix US only. But as we’ve discussed in the past, it’s trivial to gain access to this from abroad.
What’s On Netflix
What’s on Netflix claims to be the unofficial Netflix fansite. In addition to listing the best films on the site by genre, they also post daily updates about new additions. Unfortunately, they don’t cover nearly as many regions as rival Netflixable, with only Netflix UK and US being featured. They also show a very limited amount of information on each title. Unlike Instantwatcher, there’s no way to aggregate based upon age rating, reviews or length.
We were slightly disappointed with Rotten Tomatoes.
Rotten Tomatoes lets you can selectively see what is available to stream from a variety of services including Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, HBO, and Flixter. There are options to view the newest releases, and what is coming soon with a couple of pretty big caveats:
- You can only sort the results by the release date of the movie, its genre, and its Tomatometer rating. You cannot get the results by the date it was added to the service.
- When looking at the New Releases for Netflix, none of the 25 results it returned were in the lists provided by the other three sites. One has to wonder about how accurate their data is.
Given that Rotten Tomatoes is one of the oldest and most respected online movie guides, we were somewhat let down with its use as a tool for finding new films and TV shows on Netflix.
The Ultimate Netflix Guide
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention The Ultimate Netflix Guide, written by our very own Mark O’Neill. This is a one-stop shop for all things Netflix. If it isn’t covered there, it simply isn’t worth knowing. In particular, pay close attention to Chapter 9, which lists a number of third-party services you can use to find new shows on Netflix, as well as inspiration for your next movie night.
The Bottom Line
When deciding which of these options are right for you, there are a couple of things to consider.
Will you be watching content from regions other than your own? If so, Netflixable is the most suitable option, although don’t forget about What’s On Netflix, which covers the UK and US. If you want to closely refine your search queries based upon your own personal tastes, check out InstantWatcher. If you want to track content that’ll be joining and leaving the Netflix lineup, What’s On Netflix is your only option.
Really, we were impressed with all of the sites we looked at, with the exception of Rotten Tomatoes.