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Netflix for iOS is a must-have for subscribers

Serenity Caldwell | April 22, 2013
From the moment it debuted for iOS, the free Netflix video-streaming app has been a must-have for nearly all owners of Apple's tablet. The streaming and DVD rental service offers a large library that can be streamed over Wi-Fi and 3G, in addition to several original programs financed and produced by the company itself.

Below the summary, movies offer a carousel with similar films you might enjoy; TV shows have a drop-down menu for seasons along with a per-episode listing and play button.

Unfortunately, once you've added a film or TV show to your Instant Queue, there's no way to organize it from the app--to find it, you'll have to swipe through the Instant Queue carousel on the homepage until you reach the end. There's also no way to adjust your settings or access any of Netflix's DVD-only titles.

You know, for kids

The iPad app is almost identical to its iPhone cousin, save for one additional feature: Just For Kids mode, which limits searching in the app to kid-friendly cartoons and titles.

Popular cartoons like My Little Pony and Spongebob Squarepants line the top of the app, with carousels of recommended content below. To exit Just For Kids, you have to tap the small Exit Kids button in the top left of the screen--and then tap a small Yes? slider to confirm your choice.

The section is a nice option for frazzled parents in a car ride--they can hand their child the app with Just For Kids enabled (and perhaps flip on iOS 6's Guided Access, so the child can't exit to the main Netflix screen), and not worry about them accidentally watching an episode of the West Wing or Arrested Development.

Bottom line

All in all, the free Netflix app provides a wonderful service, but you may find it frustrating not being able to manage your queue or adjust your other settings. That said, the app remains the sole way to stream Netflix on your iOS device, and that feature alone makes the download worth it.

Updated on 4/17/2013 to reflect changes to the iPad app and the addition of the Just for Kids section.

 

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