Netflix Streaming Available On The iPhone Now

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This week Netflix released an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch so you can stream movies and television shows to your portable device. It was announced this past Thursday on the official Netflix Blog:

“Jamie Odell, director of product management, here. We hinted at a free Netflix App for the iPhone and iPod touch in April, announced it in June and I’m happy to share that it is available now! If you want to instantly watch TV episodes and movies on your iPhone or iPod touch, all you need to do is get the free Netflix App from the App Store at http://iTunes.com/apps/netflix and have a Netflix membership starting at $8.99 a month. What’s the first thing you’ll watch via your iPhone or iPod touch.”

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A few good points about this application are:

  • Seamless playback across multiple devices: You can start watching a movie or television show on your computer or another device that streams Netflix and at whatever point you stop what you are watching, you can resume where you left off on the iPhone application.
  • Playback available on WIFI or 3G: You can watch media from Netflix using AT&T’s 3G connection or a WIFI connection. Unfortunately AT&T has discontinued their unlimited data plans unless you were grandfathered into the unlimited data plan.
  • Modify your Netflix Queue: You can add movies to your Netflix Instant Queue from the iPhone app.

    The biggest drawback I have found unfortunately is the actual playback of the media from Netflix. Playback was very choppy for me. I tested this on an iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4G. I tried playing a few different TV shows and movies using AT&Ts 3G connection and 2 different WIFI networks and had problems with the media wanting to loop back a few seconds a few times each time.

    Hulu has released Hulu Plus, a service that streams television shows for $10 a month to various devices including the iPhone. Playback on the Hulu application has been flawless. While Hulu does not have a great selection of movies compared to Netflix, if you are mostly interested in watching television shows on your iPhone, I would highly recommend Hulu over Netflix. Currently Hulu Plus is only available by invite, but you can request an invitation from Hulu.