This one isn’t honestly a huge deal, as Netflix already has modern, native apps for both Windows PCs/tablets and phones, but the firm today announced its first universal app for Windows 10.
Or, I should say, Microsoft announced it. And it’s not technically out yet.
As it turns out, Microsoft is pretty desperate to show momentum in the Windows Store and the new universal app platform, so it has announced alongisde the Netflix news today “the important milestone” of 2.5 billion visits to the Windows Store since the Windows 10 launch in late July. There’s no word on whether this represents an increase of any kind over visits to the Windows 8 or 8.1 Windows Store over a similar time period. But my real issue here is that not much has really changed, from an app quality or count perspective.
And Netflix sort of proves my point: This isn’t a net gain for the Store because these apps already existed. And I suspect that Netflix was heavily incentivized to get to the Windows universal app platform, so that in the future Microsoft can talk up how the same app will work on Xbox One too. (Cold water moment: Yes, Netflix is already on Xbox One too.)
The “all new Netflix app” is available today on Windows 10 for PCs and tablets, Microsoft says, and a version for phones is coming “in the near future.”
Key new features include:
Improved design. The browse experience now supports vertical scrolling for categories and horizontal scrolling for items within a category, Netflix says. The design of the details pages has also been updated. It’s honestly not a huge visual update, but it more closely matches the app on other mobile platforms.
Cortana support. Netflix now supports Cortana commands so that you can control the app with your voice, even from outside the app. You can say things like “Cortana, launch Netflix,” “Netflix, find ‘House of Cards,’” “Netflix Search ‘House of Cards’”, “Netflix Look for ‘House of Cards’” and so on, Netflix (which obviously makes “House of Cards”) says.
Search improvements. In addition to Cortana support, Netflix also provides improved search, with suggestions as you type.
Live tiles. The new Netflix app now offers small, medium, wide and large tile sizes for Start. But it will continue to show artwork from titles in the your Continued Watching list.
Microsoft is being a bit cagey about availability. That is, don’t expect to find it in the Store quite yet. Instead, “the new Netflix app is available across all supported countries and languages and is beginning to rollout in the Windows Store to download this week.”
Tagged with Netflix