Netflix is now supported on more than 1,500 different devices and while the best viewing experience is, arguably, on the largest possible screen, the company is now making it even easier for mobile users to binge-watch shows.
On Wednesday, Netflix is launching a new version of its iOS apps for the iPhone and iPad. Later this year it also has more updates planned for Android users, too.
From Wednesday morning (PT) the iOS app will begin auto-playing the next episode of the show a user is watching, encouraging them to stay within the app for longer.
The iOS apps will also feature a “more fluid” design as users scroll between shows and movies on the homepage. Images that previously took a while to load will also theoretically appear a lot faster.
Speaking to Business Insider at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Netflix vice president of product innovation, Chris Jaffe, explained that while these may seem like iterative updates, the idea is “just to make things really, really stupid simple.”
More mobile updates on the way: A data-saving mode and a second-screen experience
Jaffe also revealed more updates on the way later this year for both the iOS and Android apps.
Netflix is conscious that mobile users may be conscious about burning through their data plans.
Jaffe said the Netflix application usually has a bias to give you the highest-quality experience — but that can obviously use up a lot of data if users are on the go and not connected to WiFi.
So later this year (Jaffe couldn’t give an exact date) Netflix is improving the settings so users can more effectively manage their mobile data usage. They can choose whether to allow HD streaming or not and there will be a data saving mode, which will use lower bit-rate videos.
Netflix also has a new update on the way for people who watch Netflix on their TV sets, but have a second screen like a phone or tablet close to hand.
Later this year (again, no exact date,) Chromecast users who use their phone to beam Netflix onto their TV sets will see auto-generated information about the actors in the TV shows or movies they are watching on their phones. Beforehand, the screen would simply display the controls.
Tapping on the information will bring up more detailed information about the actors as well as a list of the other shows and movies they star in that are available on Netflix.
The update will begin on Android and Chromecast, with iOS and other systems and gaming consoles that use the smartphone to control the TV set to follow.
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