Netflix Redesigns TV Apps With Side Bar Interface Housing My List, Search, and More

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Netflix today revealed a new design for its "TV experiences," or TV-based apps, that aims to make it easier to find TV shows and movies on the service.

    In addition to the rows with various themes, Netflix subscribers watching on a TV will now see a sidebar on the left side of the app that expands when they scroll over to it. This UI has Search, Home, Series, Movies, My List, and New hubs, making it far simpler to jump directly to specific sections of Netflix you want to get to without having to scroll around looking for them.


    Otherwise, browsing around Netflix on a TV app appears to be largely the same, with video previews that automatically play once you've stopped on a show or movie. Netflix's director of product innovation Stephen Garcia said that the new update came out of "extensive research" into how its users browse for content.
    The company didn't directly confirm which platforms this update will arrive on, but it typically uses "TV experiences" as an all-encompassing reference to apps on streaming boxes, game consoles, smart TVs, and anywhere else Netflix is viewed on a TV set. This should mean that fourth-generation and fifth-generation Apple TV users will see the update alongside other platforms, with a rollout that begins worldwide today.

    Article Link: Netflix Redesigns TV Apps With Side Bar Interface Housing My List, Search, and More
  2. idji73 macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2018
  3. AxiomaticRubric macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2010
    On Mars, Praising the Omnissiah
    Hopefully they pull this off better than the HBO app on Apple TV. The menus in HBO are far beyond annoying. I hate having to traverse five to six layers of menus just to access one show.
  4. austinmcguire macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2006
    I have yet to see this myself, but I actually preferred the ATV3 menus to the pre-update ATV4 menus. It was annoying to have to scroll up and down to find where it put "My List" this time. This new layout appears to fix that issue.
  5. Jest3r macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2010
    About time! Now, just PLEASE add an option to turn off the auto play previews!
  6. m0sher macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2018
    I love Netflix yet no option to mark a movie or TV show as ‘watched’ without having to actually watch it, if you already did and would like it to reflect your personal watched history on a particular show.
  7. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016
    I could not agree more. It’s so annoying playing the very first ep of a show you already finished binging by mistake and having the unfinished bar of a show you indeed finished waiting in your play list. Sends my OCD through the roof. I want a watched button badly
  8. Christoffee macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2012
    The Netflix apps are, in my opinion, streets ahead of the other U.K. apps - BBC, ITV, All4 and C5 apps are all dross compared to Netflix. I’d like to be able to mark episodes or films as watched. Also, better discovery would be good. There’s no need for a Watch Again category unless I’ve already completed Netflix!
  9. jim.arrows macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2006
    I've stopped using Netflix altogether due to the auto-previews, I've completely switched to Amazon. Infuriating.
  10. iKnowDJZ macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2008
    Now if only there was a way to prevent Netflix from auto playing the next episode when an episode finishes. ‍♂️
  11. Dj64Mk7 macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2013
    It's nice at times, but most of the time it sucks.
  12. Panicing macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2011
    Exactly! Where’s My List?!
  13. topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    Autoplay previews absolutely ruined Netix for me. I just use Prime Video now.
  14. imola.zhp macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    Mud Island (Memphis), TN
    I don't mind the auto-play previews but they should be silent. I miss the old old old version of the ATV Netflix app.
  15. ignatius345 macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2015
    I hate this so much. It actually makes me less likely to open the Netflix Apple TV app unless I know in advance what I'm going to watch.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 18, 2018 ---
    The Hulu app is even worse. Totally unintuitive, and so difficult to navigate.
  16. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    I’d like to know this as well.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 18, 2018 ---
    I’m the opposite. I love the feature.
  17. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    Proudly on ATV3 with old Apple template interface. Thank God. It’s litetally way better than the app Netflix created when they got free reign. They know streaming, the don’t know app design.
  18. bbrks macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2013
    Hopefully this update will come to Sony Android TVs.....
  19. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
    This will be helpful. Netflix' seemingly random placement of "My List" and "Continue Watching" is a big annoyance. Sometimes one or the other will be up top, sometimes I have to move through new and trending first. Randomness is exactly what you want in a user experience right? RIGHT?
    --- Post Merged, Jul 18, 2018 ---
    and THIS!
  20. Mefisto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2015
    The North
    You can do this on the desktop version at in the preferences section. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding the issue.

    edit: On the off chance that I'm not, it's under Account -> Profile -> Playback preferences, or something like that, mine's in Finnish.
  21. Izauze macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2013
    It’s not very often talked about - or noticed - but for being the clear market leader, Netflix sure has done a lot of following of companies like Hulu in the user interface department.

    First they took the whole left-to-right carousel/tray format from Hulu (back when everyone was doing big top-to-bottom grid layouts). Then they took the single big masthead image approach. Now they’re using pretty much the same global navigation categories too.

    I suppose one could argue that Netflix is playing the Apple approach to Hulu’s Android - let them be the ones to experiment and do things first, and then come in and take the best ideas and try to make them even better. But it’s odd that for a tech company with so many resources, the only thing they’ve been “out in front” with is those horrible auto playing trailers.
  22. CarlJ, Jul 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018

    CarlJ macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    These days I don't spend much time navigating the interfaces of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Apple's TV app... I use WatchAid as a front end to all of them. It does sort of the same job as Apple's TV app, but I find the TV app far too structured - Apple thinks I should watch things in a certain way (e.g. I've bought a handful of Looney Tunes cartoons - the TV app really wants me to watch them in order, one time each - but they're cartoons, there's no continuity to follow), as well as offering "helpful" suggestions of new things on the same front screen alongside the shows I'm currently watching.

    Anyway, for watching episodic "television" on most of the streaming services, WatchAid is very lightweight - you search for shows (one time, or at your whim) and add them, then it gives you a front screen with a simple grid of thumbnails (one for each show you've added), with an unwatched count badged on each show. If there are any shows that have gotten new episodes recently, they list in a separate group at the top initially, to stand out more (there's also an "Upcoming" page, which mostly replaces the #-of-unwatched-episodes badge with a count of days until the next episode will be released). Click on any show and get a simple text list of episodes (for the season you've watched most recently, with tabs at the top for each season). Each episode has a "watched" marker next to it, which you can toggle on/off at your whim. The app will come back next time to the episode after the last one you watched. There's a thumbnail for the episode in the corner, along with a synopsis/setup (small enough to easily ignore if you want to be surprised), and buttons to take you to each app where you can watch that episode (iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, DirectTV, etc.); the buttons take you directly to watching the episode in the app of your choice (I think it works with a list of what streaming apps you've installed). And for iTunes, it'll tell you how much the episode would cost to buy. And, if you hit the menu button a few times after the episode plays, to get out of Netflix or wherever, you end up in WatchAid with a dialog saying, e.g., "Would you like to mark Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 5 as watched?". Easy to watch in whatever order you want, even easier to watch in episode order. And if you add a show you've already watched a few seasons of elsewhere, once you start marking a bunch of episodes as watched, it'll ask, e.g. "Would you like to mark all of Season 1 as watched?".

    I have hope that Apple's TV app will eventually become more compelling to me. Until then, WatchAid works quite well for keeping my place in the shows I'm watching, letting me know when new episodes are available, and easily queuing up episodes when I want to watch, rather than navigating through each streaming app's interface separately.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 18, 2018 ---
    Very much this! It was annoying to have to play hide and seek to find the list of stuff I've already said I want to watch. Also not a fan of scrolling lists that wrap around. I'd like to see each of the available categories/shows once, thanks. I know how scroll backwards and forwards - at least put a very noticeable "---- this is the end / this is the start ---" separator line in there, so I can see everything once without "wondering if I've been here already." As well, the preview is huge, and takes up so much space that could be used to give me more context about where I am in the whole collection of things. And they seem to value pretty-looking smooth transitions between titles and preview images more than they value providing useful information quickly - so, if I'm a ways back from the screen and relying on the large title to see what a show/movie is, rather than trying to read the name off the thumbnail image in the list, I have to wait for each title to slowly, beautifully, fade in at the top of the screen, just to find that it's something I don't care about and can go to the next one (rinse/repeat).
  23. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    You can change autoplay setting through the Netflix website.
  24. ignatius345 macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2015
    Does that carry through to the Apple TV app?
  25. daveedjackson macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2009
    This is one of the best features- what are you talking about?!

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