Monday, December 15, 2014

Netflix on Android Just Got a Lot More Social

In September, we announced our new Social Recommendation feature for the Netflix website, iPad, iPhone, PS3, Xbox, and many set-top boxes and smart TVs. Today, we’re announcing the same feature has been added to the Netflix app for Android phones.

Now you can easily, and privately, recommend the shows you love to the people you care about, right from your Android phone.  

We’ve also added a couple of new exciting features specifically for Android users.

First, we’re taking full advantage of the rich Android push notification capabilities to add images and action buttons that let you to watch, get more info, or thank your friend for a recommendation.
Second, for Android smartwatch users, we’ve created an Android Wear integration that alerts you when you’ve received a recommendation, and lets you watch, thank, play, or get more details on the show.



We love sharing the excitement of finding a great new show with our friends. We’re excited to bring this experience to our Android phone users.

-Cameron

Monday, December 8, 2014

Netflix ISP Speed Index for November

Below is November data for the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime-time Netflix streaming experience.

A look at year-over-year average performance since November 2013 shows significant increases in average speed in the U.S. and Europe.

In the U.S., the average speed for the top 10 cable and fiber ISPs increased over 1.00 Megabit per second (Mbps)  in the last year, rising from 2.03 Mbps last November to 3.07 Mbps today -- in part because numerous ISPs including Cablevision, Cox and Charter increased their average speeds significantly without requiring additional payment to reach mutual customers.*  Additional interconnect capacity also helped normalize performance across these ISPs. Last November, the spread between the highest and lowest speeds among the top 10 was about 1.00 Mbps; today, it’s narrowed considerably to 0.33 Mbps.

We saw similar improvements in performance in Europe, including the UK and Ireland, with the average speed for the countries we’ve tracked over the last year increasing to 3.31 Mbps today from 2.62 Mbps last November. Ireland posted the biggest gains with its average speed jumping 1.00 Mbps to 2.78 Mbps. While all the European countries we tracked last November -- except for the Netherlands, which was higher -- averaged speeds below 2.85 Mbps, everyone except for Ireland topped 3.00 Mbps last month, including the six new countries added in September.
The Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of prime time Netflix performance on a particular ISP and not a measure of overall performance for other services/data that may travel across the specific ISP network. Faster Netflix performance generally means better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

*Certain ISPs -- Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and AT&T -- saw a significant increase in their average speeds only after Netflix met their demand for interconnection payments. We continue to believe the long-term health of the Internet is at risk if ISPs can demand access fees from content providers simply to reach consumers already paying for Internet service.

The latest regional rankings are below:






Anne Marie
Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Updated Netflix app brings optimized experience for new iPhones including 1080p on iPhone 6 Plus

We’re excited to announce that iPhone 6 Plus users will now see Netflix movies and television shows in 1080p resolution, including Netflix originals like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. All you need is a good WiFi connection.


When Apple announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September, we were excited about the opportunity to extend the Netflix application to different screen sizes. We immediately began work on optimizing our user interface for the larger and higher resolution screens, and we’re happy to announce these changes are included in today’s update to our app. You’ll see more titles on screen to choose from, bigger imagery, and improved performance throughout.


We look forward to feedback on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus experience.

Chris and Tom

Chris Fry is manager of iOS Platforms at Netflix.  Tom Richards is manager of UI Engineering at Netflix.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Netflix ISP Speed Index for October

Below is October data for the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime-time Netflix streaming experience.

In the U.S., Bright House cracked the Top 3 in October with an average speed of 3.13Mbps, joining Verizon FiOS and Cablevision.

Among two of the six newest countries we track, there were significant movements in both the Luxembourg and Austria indices.
In Luxembourg, Numericable jumped four places to No. 1, providing Netflix viewers with an average speed of 3.98Mbps, up more than 500 Kilobits from September. Luxembourg Online took the No. 2 spot, up from fourth last month.

In Austria, LIWEST topped the list, rising two spots with average speed of 4.2Mbps, up from 3.77 in September.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of prime time Netflix performance on a particular ISP and not a measure of overall performance for other services/data that may travel across the specific ISP network. Faster Netflix performance generally means better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

The latest regional rankings are below.




Anne Marie
Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Netflix ISP Speed Index for September

September data is now available for the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime-time Netflix streaming experience.

In the U.S., Verizon FiOS jumped nine spots to top the index with a speed of 3.17 Megabits per second (Mbps.) The rapid rise, which began last month, followed an interconnection agreement with the company that uncongested ports for mutual customers. Similar arrangements with Time Warner Cable and AT&T U-Verse also resulted in increased speeds in September of 2.87 Mbps and 2.77 Mbps respectively.

Six new European countries joined the index -- France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg -- following the launch of Netflix service in mid-September. Although still early days in these markets, all six were among the top 10 countries in terms of performance with speeds in excess of 3.12 Mbps. By comparison, while the US speed has risen about 500 Kilobits per second in the last two months, it averaged 2.72 Mbps for September.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 50 million Netflix members worldwide who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix each month. The listed speeds reflect the average performance during prime time of all Netflix streams on each ISP's network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network. A faster network generally means a better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

Note: The average performance is below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes Netflix uses to deliver the TV shows and movies as well as the variety of devices members use and home network conditions. These factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs.

The latest regional rankings are below.





Anne Marie


Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A New Visual Search Experience for Mobile and Tablet

Search is a key feature on mobile and tablet devices and many of our members use search to program their evening entertainment while on the go. Starting today we’re rolling out a new search experience for Android mobile and tablet devices, with an upgrade to the iPhone’s search experience following suit. With this update, we bring the visual presentation style for search results to mobile and tablet devices, allowing our members to quickly scan search results to discover great content. This concept already has proven successful on game consoles, smart TVs and the website.



As seen in the screenshot above, presenting the results in a grid of cover art allows the user to see more results at once on touch screen devices such as mobile phones and tablets. This visual presentation reduces the cognitive load, making it easier to find what you’re looking for. After tapping on a particular video, users can add it to “My List”, start playback on the device, or use Chromecast or AirPlay to watch the video on a big screen.


Finally this rollout expands the search function on the iPhone by enabling members to search for actors, directors and creators. We also now provide suggestions related to the query, which allows members to more easily explore the contents of the Netflix catalog. The screenshot above depicts the search experience on the iPhone and shows the results for the query “ant” (left), the top people results matching the same query (middle) and a gallery featuring all videos available on Netflix starring Anthony Hopkins.

-Roelof and Chris

Roelof van Zwol is director of product innovation for search and personalization at Netflix.
Chris Jaffe is vice president of UI innovation at Netflix.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A New Search Experience for the Website

At Netflix we’re always thinking about ways to improve the user experience. Starting today, we are rolling out a new search experience on the website. With the new instant search tool, you’ll get faster and easier access to your favorite movies, TV shows and actors.


For the new search experience, we use lush cover art that delivers a more visual presentation across the page. As you start typing your query, potential matches of TV shows and movies appear in the grid of cover art. The new style makes it easier for the user to scan the results and, combined with the infinite scroll functionality,  gives the user an intuitive way to explore the Netflix catalog.

A list of actors, directors and creators matching the query is shown on the left hand side. When clicking on any of those results, a new gallery will open with all the titles related to that person. The left rail is also used for suggestions related to genres, topical searches and searches for titles that are unavailable to stream.  In each case, users see recommendations based on that suggestion, as shown in the screenshot below.


One last feature supports our growing list of Netflix Originals. Simply type in “netflix” and the page displays all the shows and movies under the Netflix banner.

We’ll continue to work on improving the search experience across all devices that our members use to watch content on Netflix. For now, we hope you’ll enjoy the new search experience on the website,

-Roelof

Roelof van Zwol is director of product innovation for search and personalization algorithms at Netflix