Netflix's iPhone app gets a big & whimsical new look

Netflix logo
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix has a new interface on the iPhone — and it’s so much better it’s difficult to know where to start.

The newly updated app, which is available as a free download via the App Store as before, still gives people quick and easy access to the top-notch TV shows, movies, and documentaries available in that huge library. But now the app’s actually fun to use in-between, too.

The new Netflix interface is, dare we say, full of whimsy?

Getting jiggy with it

Perhaps the biggest example of that whimsy is in the way the app flows, bounces, and maybe even jiggles around when it’s interacted with. You can get a good feel for what we’re talking about by watching a video posted to Twitter by Janum Trivedi, a senior software engineer at Netflix when the interface was being designed.

Just watch as Trivedi flicks content away and it bounces around. Magical!

According to the designer, improvements include: 

  • New billboard layout responds as you move your device, with a subtle lighting effect
  • Beautiful wallpaper gradients that are created on-the-fly from the art
  • A new card transition that’s fully interruptible/interactive
  • New launch/profile animations, haptics, and more!

Trivedi says that the user interface refresh had been on the go for a while with the aim being to make it “more fluid, delightful, and polished.” We can definitely see how that was the case and we can all probably agree that it was time well spent.

Some of the interactions remind us of the way tvOS app icons can be wiggled using the Apple TV’s remote control, which is pretty ironic considering how poor the Netflix Apple TV app can be at times. Perhaps now we dare cross our fingers that the Apple TV app will get a similar amount of love going forward.

Maybe Netflix could make the rest of its apps less miserable too?

And after that, who knows. Maybe Netflix could make the rest of its apps less miserable to use, too.

The updated Netflix app is probably ready and waiting for you if you have automatic updates enabled. If not, go and grab it now! This might just be the best iPhone experience we’ve seen in a while.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.