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Netflix’s revamped iOS and Android apps put box art, head shots front and center

netflix-visual-search-on-tablet
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Fairly identical to the user interface that launched on the Web, smart televisions and game consoles like the PlayStation 4, Netflix has launched a new update on Android devices that brings box art to the forefront when searching for a specific title, actor or genre related to television shows or film.

Also launching on Apple devices very soon, this update once again re-syncs the visual interface across all platforms and allows the user to switch between devices without having to learn a new interface. By simply tapping the box art, users can launch video content on their mobile device. Of course, there’s also an option that allows users to stream video content to the big screen using AirPlay on the Apple TV or the Google Chromecast.

Speaking together about the changes on the two most popular mobile platforms, Netflix director of search innovation Roelof van Zwol and user interface innovation VP Chris Jaffe saidWith 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.”

netflix-visual-search-on-smartphone
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The duo continued “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.”

Beyond visual search, search on iOS devices has been improved to allow for a larger variety of keywords, namely related to “actors, directors and creators.” Perusing through headshots, users will be able to use pictures to find their favorite actor or actress in order to search for related content.

Interestingly, Netflix is also testing a a version of the mobile platform that offers two to five minute clips of programming at a time in order to match the typical length of time that a mobile user spends watching Netflix on their device. This model is somewhat similar to Hulu or YouTube, services that show off the most popular clips of a program that recently aired.

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Mike Flacy
By day, I'm the content and social media manager for High-Def Digest, Steve's Digicams and The CheckOut on Ben's Bargains…
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