Netflix announced in a blog post on Thursday that it has begun to roll out a free Netflix app for the Android platform, allowing subscribers to enjoy a selection of streamed movies and TV shows on the move. But before Android users jump from their seats and run for the streets to celebrate with others the arrival of Netflix on their platform, there is a caveat – the app currently only works on a very small number of handsets, namely:
– HTC Incredible with Android 2.2
– HTC Nexus One with Android 2.2, 2.3
– HTC Evo 4G with Android 2.2
– HTC G2 with Android 2.2
– Samsung Nexus S with Android 2.3
Roma De, a member of the Netflix team, explained in the post: “The [Android] Market download will initially be available only on select phones that currently have the requisite playback support. We expect to quickly add to the number of phones that can download from Android Market as we work with ecosystem partners to expand playback support.”
De added that because the Android platform is evolving at such a fast pace, “there are some significant challenges associated with developing a streaming video application for this ecosystem. One of these challenges is the lack of standard streaming playback features that the Netflix application can use to gain broad penetration across all available Android phones.”
As there is currently no standardization, De said that Netflix has to test each individual smartphone and then launch only on those that can support playback.
Users of the app (with the right phone) will be able to watch streamed content via a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. The app also enables you to carry on watching from wherever you left off on your TV or computer.
iPhone owners have been able to use the Netflix app since August last year, and it’s been available for the iPad since April 2010, when the device was launched. It is also available for Windows Phone 7.
Android users whose smartphone isn’t listed above will have to be patient, though De does offer some words of hope: “We anticipate that many of these technical challenges will be resolved in the coming months and that we will be able to provide a Netflix application that will work on a large majority of Android phones.”