Netflix to Debut New Vertical Preview Feature on Mobile Next Month

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Netflix is set to introduce a new movie and show preview mode to its iOS app next month (via Variety). Announced on Wednesday at the company's Lab Days press event in California, the upcoming feature will mean Netflix subscribers can watch 30-second previews displayed as vertical video on mobile devices.


The previews will appear as round icons on the home screen below a carousel showcasing the latest Netflix content available. Users tap on the icons to watch the previews and can swipe across them to see more. Netflix will debut up to 75 of its custom-crop previews for both original and licensed content when the feature goes live in April.

A similar preview feature has been part of Netflix's TV interface for a few years now, but this will be the first time the company has used a vertical viewing format within its mobile apps. Some subscribers who signed up to the "Test Participation" feature in their Netflix.com account settings may already see the previews in the iPhone app.

Netflix said approximately 20 percent of all viewing happens on a mobile device, which is why the company has been working on several improvements to its mobile offering, including the recent launch of mobile downloads and codec optimization to enable higher-resolution viewing over as little as 200kbps bandwidth.

Article Link: Netflix to Debut New Vertical Preview Feature on Mobile Next Month
 

RowellE

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2012
327
592
Who asked for this? I’d rather rotate my device to get the full picture. This is a step backwards, like going back to 4:3 (but worse) all over again.

Plus everyone complains when something is filmed vertically. Why would we want to watch previews that way?
 

imronburgundy

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2013
236
280
Who asked for this? I’d rather rotate my device to get the full picture. This is a step backwards, like going back to 4:3 (but worse) all over again.

Plus everyone complains when something is filmed vertically. Why would we want to watch previews that way?
Who cares? Options is why. I assume the normal horizontal 16:9 preview is there too. Maybe you're standing on a train with one hand full of bags and the other with your phone. Are you awkwardly going to hold your phone landscape with one hand while previewing some new show?
 

yngrshr

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2015
166
165
NJ
Who cares? Options is why. I assume the normal horizontal 16:9 preview is there too. Maybe you're standing on a train with one hand full of bags and the other with your phone. Are you awkwardly going to hold your phone landscape with one hand while previewing some new show?
This is exactly what it’s for.

That some are annoyed over this is beyond comical.
 

gigapocket1

macrumors 68000
Mar 15, 2009
1,767
1,066
Smh. Only if Apple had bought Netflix years ago and wasn’t late to the music streaming arena..
 

mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
2,915
2,089
Who cares? Options is why. I assume the normal horizontal 16:9 preview is there too. Maybe you're standing on a train with one hand full of bags and the other with your phone. Are you awkwardly going to hold your phone landscape with one hand while previewing some new show?
Because its a "boiling the frog" phenomenon. Once Netflix publishes some numbers on how amazingly popular this format is, directors will go straight to vertical only videos and after a while, landscape videos will become a premium add-on and then will be extinguished. Vertical videos look terrible on TV and Netflix can finally beat cable TV by essentially slow boiling the customer preferred aspect ratio of the screen.
 

jim.arrows

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2006
193
233
The auto-previews in Netflix apps is the single most maddening feature of any app I use regularly, with no way to disable it... now they're forcing it even further down our throats. I absolutely can't stand trying to browse for something to watch when every time I move from show to show it starts blasting spoilers at me that I don't want to see.
 

topmounter

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2009
2,290
450
FEMA Region VIII
The auto-previews in Netflix apps is the single most maddening feature of any app I use regularly, with no way to disable it... now they're forcing it even further down our throats. I absolutely can't stand trying to browse for something to watch when every time I move from show to show it starts blasting spoilers at me that I don't want to see.
I wholeheartedly agree. This is so infuriatingly annoying that I no longer browse Netflix on OTT devices. Amazon Prime Video is my go to now.
 

JRobinsonJr

macrumors 6502a
Aug 20, 2015
651
1,157
Arlington, Texas
First, I always appreciate companies providing multiple options. Of course watching previews vertically will make it easier in some situations. Duh! Touting this as a new feature is (IMO) like bragging that you're finally going to support color video. It's an obvious answer to an obvious problem. Just put it in and move on.
 

512ke

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2003
575
183
The auto-previews in Netflix apps is the single most maddening feature of any app I use regularly, with no way to disable it... now they're forcing it even further down our throats. I absolutely can't stand trying to browse for something to watch when every time I move from show to show it starts blasting spoilers at me that I don't want to see.
Agree. I mute the volume while scrolling through Netflix on my TV to avoid having dozens of trailers start to auto play every single time I want to find what to watch.
 

jim.arrows

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2006
193
233
I wholeheartedly agree. This is so infuriatingly annoying that I no longer browse Netflix on OTT devices. Amazon Prime Video is my go to now.
Now that you mention it, since Prime Video arrived on Apple TV I've been using it almost exclusively for the same reason... much nicer experience, and I prefer it on atv over fire tv since they do the work of filtering out all the non-prime content on the atv version.
 

RowellE

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2012
327
592
Maybe you're standing on a train with one hand full of bags and the other with your phone. Are you awkwardly going to hold your phone landscape with one hand while previewing some new show?
How is that awkward? I see people do that all the time. I, myself, do that when I've got my hands full and waiting for the metro.
 

tonyr6

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2011
1,415
462
Brooklyn NY
I wholeheartedly agree. This is so infuriatingly annoying that I no longer browse Netflix on OTT devices. Amazon Prime Video is my go to now.
Agree. I mute the volume while scrolling through Netflix on my TV to avoid having dozens of trailers start to auto play every single time I want to find what to watch.
When are they going to get rid of the auto previews in the TV app, because right now I just use airplay to use Netflix because the tv app is so atrocious
Now that you mention it, since Prime Video arrived on Apple TV I've been using it almost exclusively for the same reason... much nicer experience, and I prefer it on atv over fire tv since they do the work of filtering out all the non-prime content on the atv version.
You all read my mine. Since Notflix loves to shove there stupid originals and removing great licensed content every month even though most I have zero interest in there mostly mature originals I find I never really watch NF anymore. I watch Prime Video and Hulu much more. Yes they have mature originals too but what makes up for it is the licensed content something Notflix does not have much of anymore.

I would have dropped NF by now but since T-Mobile is paying for it I keep it but it does not cost me anything.
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2014
2,818
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I can see why Netflix wants to implement this, especially on their iPhone app in which browsing is portrait orientation only. It’s cumbersome to have to constantly switch your phone between portrait and landscape orientation to see previews while you’re browsing.

But I don’t think vertical videos are the right answer. It cuts off most of the actual content (similar to the whole full screen vs wide screen option that confused people in the 90s). Simply support (normal) wide screen content while the device is in portrait orientation.

I am frequently frustrated by Netflix and many video content apps that force full screen (landscape) viewing in their iOS apps. For everything but video, I prefer my devices in portrait orientation. So sometimes I’d rather sacrifice the full screen content and not have to reorient the device, especially when the device is on a stand or mount, and especially when I’m playing the video in the background while doing other things, or sometimes when I need to switch between Netflix and doing tasks in other apps. The stock Video app supports portrait orientation viewing; I don’t know why Netflix, Directv Now, and HBO Go can’t.
 

Gasu E.

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2004
4,627
2,637
Not far from Boston, MA.
Because its a "boiling the frog" phenomenon. Once Netflix publishes some numbers on how amazingly popular this format is, directors will go straight to vertical only videos and after a while, landscape videos will become a premium add-on and then will be extinguished. Vertical videos look terrible on TV and Netflix can finally beat cable TV by essentially slow boiling the customer preferred aspect ratio of the screen.
These are Previews. Directors don't give a crap about previews. They are a form of advertising media that has zero to do with how they perceive their craft.
[doublepost=1520530940][/doublepost]
The auto-previews in Netflix apps is the single most maddening feature of any app I use regularly, with no way to disable it... now they're forcing it even further down our throats. I absolutely can't stand trying to browse for something to watch when every time I move from show to show it starts blasting spoilers at me that I don't want to see.
Yeah, they are pretty annoying. I hate being blasted with aggressive advertising in any case; but the Netflix previews are excessively annoying. The quality of editing and music selection makes it look as though these were created by interns, or worse-- the idea has crossed my mind that it's done at least partially by AI. They are nowhere near as well-put together as regular movie trailers (which are irritating in their own way, but at least tend to look professional).
 

Pabloacval

macrumors newbie
Mar 8, 2018
3
0
I don’t know why, but I’ve had this preview function for a couple of months now.
I tried to upload the screenshot but it says it’s too large for the server. ‍♂
 

Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
3,132
6,070
The auto-previews in Netflix apps is the single most maddening feature of any app I use regularly, with no way to disable it... now they're forcing it even further down our throats. I absolutely can't stand trying to browse for something to watch when every time I move from show to show it starts blasting spoilers at me that I don't want to see.
I wish I could up-vote this comment more than once. The 'feature' you refer to is truly abysmal. For some weird (but welcome) reason I cannot fathom it doesn't do it on one of my Amazon FireTV devices. Which makes it my favourite.
 
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