iPhone and iPad

Netflix For iPhone: One Of The Best Apps For Movies & Shows On The Go [iPhone]

Joshua Lockhart 10-01-2013

netflix for iphoneHaving movies and television shows on your iPhone isn’t anything new, but with Netflix Is Netflix The Solution to Video Piracy? [Opinion] Netflix recently launched in the UK - and I wrote up a full and shining review of the service last time. It offers an affordable way to get high quality on-demand movies and TV straight... Read More , it’s a whole lot easier. Whether you’re with friends, on the road, or having to wait somewhere, the app is perfect for taking a quick tube break. Better yet, with wifi connectivity, you can watch your favorite bits of entertainment with the ease of a mobile while nixing the data rates.


It’s a bit funny, though. We used to get excited about big screens, but now we get excited about small ones. I suppose the reasoning for this is that much like the people who were able to bring movies into their homes, we can now bring movies wherever we go. In response to this, Netflix for iPhone is definitely one of the best all-in-one video apps Netflix Versus LoveFilm - The Battle Of The UK Movie Streaming Services With Netflix having recently launched in the UK, it looks like consumers are going to have to make a choice between the established Amazon-backed LoveFilm, and the newcomer Netflix. Read More for your viewing pleasure.

How It Looks

Using the app was smooth-sailing, and honestly, I can’t say there are many bad things about it. You can simply swipe through rows of account-based viewing categories and genres, and the search function finds exactly what you need. For the most part, the app comes with a white-on-black design (save for search results and some menus), and at least for me, it was easy on the eyes.

netflix for iphone

The video player itself is fairly clean, but video quality is based on your Internet connection. In some situations my phone wasn’t able to take advantage of the retina display How Does The Apple Retina Display Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] These days, people are crazy about the Apple Retina Display. Supposedly, it does wonders! A completely non-pixelated screen? Who would have ever thought?! However, many questions loom the supposedly revolutionary technological advancement. Is it really... Read More . It also utilizes an onscreen volume adjuster. This seemed a bit unnecessary seeing that it is on a mobile device, and all it does is take up screen space. The iPhone is designed for minimal buttons, and Netflix could have played into that.

netflix iphone

Speaking of screen space, the app doesn’t offer a landscape mode for browsing. It’s not much of a hassle, but for an app like this, I believe it should come with it. Furthermore, due to the limited real estate in browsing mode, you only see the covers of two and a half movies at a time for each category. When I’m at the DVD rental Saying Goodbye: 5 Alternatives To The Optical Disc With computers growing smaller and lifestyles going mobile, less devices offer sufficient space for internal optical drives. Presently, the market is kept afloat by Blu-ray consumer home video sales, but in terms of data storage,... Read More store, I have an entire shelf to look at. I believe a landscape mode could offer a similar experience.

How It Functions

Similar to my Scottish Terrier who only can clap her paws while sitting on her hind legs, Netflix basically has one trick: playing movies and shows. Even still sometimes the simplest of apps can be the best. Why? They do what they are supposed to do (much like how dogs are supposed to clap. Trust me. This analogy works).

Everything the browser-based version offers is reproduced on the iPhone, and this includes all of your account recommendations including past shows. Granted, only Instant Watch programs are featured on the app, and you can add them to your Instant Queue Find Worthwhile Movies On Netflix With A Better Queue This summer, I have more free time to enjoy Netflix movies and series which makes me ecstatic. There is no end, it seems, to the choices of films and episodes that one can watch so... Read More . Furthermore, reading up on films before watching them is pretty easy: tap the cover once to read, tap twice to watch.

netflix iphone

Ordering DVDs via mobile is non-existent, and although I wanted to see such an option, I understand why it’s not available. Mobile apps are about the here and now.

Video out functionality is available, so you can watch your shows on a larger screen. If you happen to have a video out adapter, this is great for you. Of course, if you just recently acquired the iPhone 5 (whether that be via purchasing or stealing someone’s handbag – I won’t say how I got mine), you’ll need to find an adapter if you don’t already have one.

Nonfunctional Browse Genres Button

As a warning, I did find an issue with the app’s Browse Genres button. For some reason, it just stopped working, but a quick reinstall seemed to do the trick. I couldn’t find out if this was a known bug, but it wasn’t a repeat offender. Fortunately, I didn’t find any similar issues with other features.

The Bottom Line

netflix for iphone

That’s it for the Netflix app for iPhone, and if you’re a screen junkie, it’s definitely a must-have. For me, it’s just another excuse to steal the neighbor’s wifi.

What has your experience with the Netflix app for iPhone been like? What are some of your favorite Instant Watch movies?

Explore more about: Netflix, Television.

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  1. Anonymous
    January 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    I agree that the Netflix app is great. I hate walking on the treadmill, but that activity is required by my doctor since my heart surgery. Time passes quickly when I'm watching an entertaining movie or TV program from Netflix. The iPhone 4 screen is large enough for the reading rack on the treadmill. An additional feature is the availability of closed captioning, very useful to have in a noisy environment.

    • Joshua Lockhart
      January 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      Never, ever would have considered it with a treadmill. Thanks for sharing, David!