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Netflix Ditches WebKit To Build New User Interface For Apps On TV, Connected Devices


Written by  Harpreet | 13 November 2013
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netflix appdevNetflix today announced that the company is bringing an entirely new user interface for its apps on smart TVs and devices such as the Xbox 360, Roku 3 and others. The company is looking to offer a consistent user experience across multiple devices and platforms to ensure users get the same experience no matter which device or TV they’re using.

The new Netflix interface is much more visually engaging than the existing design that used a grid based interface to displays TV shows and movies to Netflix users. Users can now see much larger still images and posters from shows and movies to select which one they wish to watch.

Netflix has rolled out the updates on PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360, Roku 3 and newer models of smart TVs and Blu-Ray players from various manufacturers. The rollout is expected to finish in the next two weeks and the changes will be available in all global markets where Netflix is present. Older devices such as Roku 2 and others will also get the updates but they’ll have to wait a little longer.

One of the most striking services that Netflix offers is not just instant streaming of entertaining content but also valid suggestions based on a number of algorithms that the company has developed and improved over the last couple of years. The new interface refines the search aspect of this by auto-suggesting titles as users start entering their search query. Users can now also search for actors as well as directors of all the content that is indexed on Netflix.

Users will also say final goodbyes to the red splash screen that displayed the loading parentage to users. Now when users click on the play button on the interface they’re taken to the stream right away. Netflix was earlier using HTML5 and Webkit to build its interface for the various TV based applications and devices. To make that work Netflix had to use a Webkit based browser to make the application work, thus limiting the company on the number of features it could serve.

With the new UI, Netflix has finally ditched Webkit and has decided to build a native platform for most commonly used devices out there, even bypassing the various SDKs offered by smart TV manufacturers. Netflix will soon offer a voice based input service which the company is developing on its own.

[Image Credits: Netflix]

Harpreet

Harpreet

Harpreet is a technology journalist based in India. He currently writes on Mobile, Technology and Startups. He is an avid reader and a passionate writer. Prior to ToolsJournal, Harpreet used to write for a major English news daily.

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