PhoneFlicks vs. Netflix for iPhone

Blog | Aug. 31, 2010

I love Netflix, and I think they’ve shown some amazing innovation in the on-demand video market, which is why they more or less own it. But Netflix for the iPhone is the first product they’ve released that I am disappointed in, enough to make me rethink my earlier assessment of Phone Flicks, my Netflix stand-in. Let’s say I’m looking for a movie to add to my queue, such as Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

Bye Bye Brazil, indeed. Dear Netflix, when are you going to release my film?

Ah, there is it. Unlike its rival, Phone Flicks was able to pull up one of the most important films of the 1980s (even its bastard re-edit). I understand Netflix is an app for streaming movies and Phone Flicks is an app for queuing them, but there’s no reason the Netflix app can’t do both.

And the user interface of the Netflix app is sluggish with some weird UI problems. I can’t wait for an update, so scrolling isn’t like trudging through molasses, more results are displayed per page, they fix the vertical alignment of list items, and if you look closely, that spinner in the top right of the search bar isn’t even animated: it is a static image that spins, which is a weird UI compromise. In all, it bears the earmarks of an app rushed through production, don’t ask me how I know.

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