[Update: Rolling Out] Netflix Appears to be Testing a New User Interface on Android
As anyone with a Netflix subscription can tell you, there’s enough content in the streaming service’s catalog to occupy you until the end of time. The app for Android makes wading through the content easier than it otherwise might be, thankfully, but the company thinks there’s room for improvement. On Monday, redditor MyFishDrownedItself stumbled upon a redesigned Android client that tweaks the user interface slightly.
Netflix’s redesigned Android application looks somewhat akin to the iOS client, and more consistent with Google’s Material Design guidelines. Most of the options and controls have been moved to the bottom of the application; they’re no longer relegated to a slide-out hamburger menu to the side.
The new user interface isn’t hitting every Android device just yet. Instead, it appears to be part of what’s called an A/B test. In an A/B test, everyone generally gets the same version of an application, and a server-side switch for specific regions or devices ensures that some people get a new feature — in this case, Netflix’s new UI — while others do not. It’s a strategy usually employed for over-the-air (OTA) updates for Android devices because critical problems can be fixed before they reach an entire user base.
Update: Rolling Out With Changes
According to Android Police, the new UI is rolling out to more users on the beta channel. Since the last time we reported on this update, the UI has seen a few tweaks. The Chromecast icon has been moved to a floating button in the bottom. The hamburger menu has been replaced with a drop-down that can switch between TV Shows, Movies, and Originals.