As the most popular platform by virtually all measurements, Netflix is a rock in the fast-flowing river of video streaming. Yes, it was one of the first options widely available, but apart from its massive catalog of content, the apps for the service have been mainstays in the industry in terms of look and feel.
Now, Netflix is rolling out the first major update to its TV apps since they were overhauled on a singular platform back in 2013. Unveiled in a recent blog post, the primary consumer-facing change will be a new design that launches titles in the background immediately after you select them.
“Now when you select a title, it will start or resume playing while displaying key information to help you confirm your choice,” Netflix’s Joubert Nel wrote in a post on the company’s blog. “We’re letting the content speak for itself by providing a more immersive and cinematic experience that best represents the capabilities and expectations of today’s TVs.”
The change seems to have users split. On one hand, Netflix is certainly right in that actually seeing a bit of a show or movie alongside the description gives you a better idea of whether or not it’s for you than the description alone. On the other hand, anyone who has accidentally started playing a title when simply trying to read the full description may want more direct control over playback. In addition, the the script appears to be a little bit in the way when streaming commences.
There may be additional changes and performance improvements under the hood, but if that is the case, Netflix isn’t saying. It seems that this update simply pushes out this single feature, perhaps so it can be quickly changed in case of user backlash.
Given the sheer amount of TVs Netflix supports, it’s hard to say when your particular model will get the update. According to Netflix the changes started rolling out globally yesterday and will continue to make its way to eligible devices “over the following days.”