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Netflix: Now streaming on Android

After initially launching for only a select few devices (five to be exact), the Netflix Android app is now supported by most phones and tablets running OS versions 2.2 and up.

After initially launching for only a select few devices (five to be exact), the Netflix Android app is now supported by most phones and tablets running OS versions 2.2 and up. This means a lot more people get to partake of Netflix's instant-streaming fun.

After downloading the app, getting set up is simple. Just enter your log-in information and your account will sync with your device. Your viewing history, recommendations, and instant queue will all be intact.

Along the top of the screen are four main navigation tabs: Home, Genres, Search, and Queue. The Home tab displays your most watched videos, new releases, and recommendations. You'll also notice a small Resume button at the top that takes you to your last watched video, so, with a single tap, you can continue watching right where you left off, no matter what device you initially started watching on. Next is the Genre tab, which brings you to a simple browsing list, same as on the Web.

Now, the Search and Queue tabs are where we see a bit of deviation from the typical Web experience. Search is predictive, so it brings up results as you type, which is nice. Unfortunately, it only covers movie and TV show titles, meaning you can't type in actors' or directors' names as you can do on the Web. So if you're dying to watch Jean-Claude Van Damme's latest film, but you forgot the title, you might be in trouble (for more reasons than one).

Your Queue is more or less identical to the Web version, except for the fact that the app only displays your instant-streaming titles. You can't manage your DVD mailing queue from the app.

Aside from these minor issues, our biggest complaint about the Netflix app is its lack of navigation controls. Without a draggable slider or a Jump to Top command, scrolling through long lists is an excruciating experience. Imagine how many swipes it might take to get to the bottom of a 150-item list. Now imagine having to swipe back to the top of that list. Ugh.

The great thing is, the Netflix Android app deserves high marks for its awesome performance. Streaming is smooth and reliable, video quality is great, and sound quality is absolutely pristine. In our eyes, these strengths more than outweigh the app's weaknesses.

So, despite its interface issues and minor shortcomings when it comes to features, we still highly recommend the Netflix Android app to anyone looking to stream video while on the go.

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