Netflix recently updated its website to offer a more app-like experience, faster scrolling through the various rows (My List, Trending, etc), animations showing show details when you mouse over the show’s thumbnail and an inline details pane when you actually click on a show’s thumbnail. The revamped website is expected to take up to two weeks to roll out globally, but the first redesign in 4 years already has begun rolling out in the U.S. I had the opportunity to test the new features out for myself, and they worked exactly as advertised. This should be a welcome change to those of you who watch Netflix on your browser while on your PC.
Of course, if you have Windows 8.x, you also have the option of downloading the app from the Windows app store. In comparing the two, I found the actual Netflix app is still superior to the app-like experience in the browser. Nevertheless, the new website is a huge improvement over its predecessor, which had the feel of a mere collection of static pages linked together. I’ve compiled a list of comparisons between the Netflix app and the overhauled website below.
- The website has a carousel of featured movies/TV shows that takes up the lion’s share of the browser screen on a 1920×1080 PC display. By contrast, the Windows 8.x app dispenses with the featured title carousel and simply shows you a “continue watching” pane with the 3 most recent titles you had been watching.
- The website organizes your “My list”, “Popular on Netflix”, “Trending Now”, etc. title thumbnails in rows while the app organizes such lists in 4×3 thumbnail grids, making more efficient use of the screen space.
- The website still requires you to tap the arrows on either end of each row to scroll through the list, while the app allows you to simply swipe horizontally between the lists.
- Both the website and the app have an excellent implementation of episode lists you can toggle when you’re in the middle of watching an episode. The space-saving pop-up title lists allow you to quickly choose a different episode without exiting the playback screen.
The website has made some huge strides, so if you’re running Linux, Windows 7 or earlier, Mac OS, or ChromeOS you’ll be treated to a much more intuitive experience. If you’re running Windows 8.x, I still recommend downloading the Netflix app from the Windows app store. Now if Netflix would only add In Plain Sight…Source: Netflix Blog