Windows 8 has had a few big name apps so far: Evernote, Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope, Wikipedia, Kindle to name a few. I believe this is one of the biggest yet though to hit, Netflix. It is also at this stage one of the most polished apps, but it is still improving as this is just the initial release.
From the opening screen you can see it is pretty well thought out. You can easily jump to some common choices like New Releases or Top Picks. I like that your most recently viewed shows are visible and how far you were into it. Easy to jump to where you left off. I was watching these on my Xbox so clearly talking to each other. One note though if you happen to be using IE10 Modern to access Netflix, it won’t show you there how far into an episode you are, nor will it start where you left off, so the app clearly has an edge there. Incidentally the Genres choices will cause them to pop-up on this screen in that red bar, making it easy to select a specific genre.
The absolutely best part about that red bar is that is slides out-of-the-way when you don’t need it. You’ll see below how there is just a Netflix rectangle with a drop-down arrow. So if you scroll to the right and now decide you want to use the bar, you just hit the drop-down and there it is! Brilliant!
If ever an app needed semantic view it is Netflix. They do a lot of separating into categories and giving you choices and ways to find what you want to watch. The semantic view as shown above is fabulous. One of the best uses yet for the feature.
The view of episodes within a TV show is well thought out. A brief description along with easy access to episodes and seasons including the same red bar to show long far into the show you have watched it. Easy to rate and add or remove from queue.
The movie info page is done quite well also. One thing you have may have noticed in the TV show and above in the movies is the cast, directors, etc are listed and are in rectangles. You can click on those rectangles and get other movies or TV shows on Netflix that the actor or director was involved with. If you like Chris Evans, click his name to find other parts he’s played. It’s logical, it’s simple, it’s helpful. You can of course do that at the Netflix webpage, but nice to see it here as well.
Playing your movie or TV show works quite well with options to go back to main screen, pause, jump ahead, the title of the episode/movie, volume and audio/subtitles options. Some are available with right-click, some available with a left click. The quality of the playback was quite good as should be expected as long as your device supports HD. That isn’t to say the standard definition is terrible, but things to do look crisper in HD.
Search – another shining example of something done right, very right. It shows results as you type. Most apps I have searched with you have to hit enter to get any results. All search should work this way when the app is open. A screenshot of it is below. As I was typing results started showing up. Share – this app doesn’t share at this time, but since you do need to pay for the service, that could be why. I’m sure some type of sharing could be added though if they choose. Settings – you can sign out here and see Your Account. At this time though it takes you to the Netflix website to show your account info. You will have to login again here if you haven’t already done so.
To my surprise you can even use this in snapped one-third view. Nearly all of the navigation and information (aside from actor/director links and story synopsis) can be done in the snapped view. There has clearly been a lot of work done in this app to make it fit within Windows 8.
There is no usage made of the live tile. Perhaps this will be added in the future to show new releases you might be interested in or perhaps something else.
I would bet that Netflix has been working on this for some time but only released it now since it is basically ready for mass consumption – or else they really know what they are doing in Windows 8. It is very well done. It might be a tad slow in places and it did crash on me once (though I was trying to go back to the main screen while watching something, the app apparently didn’t care for me to do that). It also crashed when ever I added or removed a show from the queue.
If you have Netflix, this app does quite good at providing you access to the service. Does it have faults? A few. No comments/reviews for one. It has been said this is a work in progress, but it is quite usual and useful in its present form.
| Category: Entertainment Download size: 3.38 MB Age rating: 16+ Publisher: Netflix, Inc.