Defying expectations, Netflix has launched a redesigned app for Android tablets and left millions of iPad owners high and dry. Don’t fret, said the streaming giant – an iPad version is on the way. The Apple faithful just need to wait a little longer.
Considering their penchant for lining up well in advance to score the latest products, that shouldn’t be a problem.
“The new design is much more immersive and provides greater focus on the growing number of titles in the Netflix catalog,” said Zal Bilimoria, Netflix mobile product manager. “The new interface displays twice as many movies and TV shows as before, enabling you to discover even more titles you’ll love.”
The revamped app allows tablet owners to browse larger images, he added.
Bilimoria neglected to touch on exactly why the redesign launched first on Android-based tablets when Apple’s iPad leads the burgeoning market. The Los Gatos company was likely motivated by the two new kids on the block.
Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire (released on Tuesday) and Barnes & Noble’s $249 Nook Tablet (due in stores Thursday) drew plenty of buzz the past few weeks. The Kindle Fire recorded massive pre-order numbers, leading CEO Jeff Bezos to claim the company needed to build millions more to meet demand.
The new Netflix app is available for free on both devices through the Android Market, confirmed Bilimoria.
So far, customers aren’t thrilled with the redesign. Several voiced their disapproval at the official Netflix blog.
“It runs so slow and choppy, just like before,” wrote a user named Schlemiel. “The only difference is the look.”
Another said whomever came up with the redesign should be ashamed: “Rows and rows of covers is not a intuitive design. Some don’t even have titles.”
One particularly creative commenter offered a conspiratorial explanation regarding the decision to debut the new app on Android. “[Netflix] had no confidence in the app and knew that they had no way to handle all the complaints from such a large customer base. So they release it initially to a smaller user base,” speculated the anonymous user.
The new Netflix app will hit the iPad in a few weeks. (via The Netflix Blog)