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Netflix Recommendations Hit Android Phones

16 December 2014, 5:24 pm EST By Quinten Plummer Tech Times
Netflix recommendations finally roll out on Android devices, months after landing on several other platforms. The recommendations system also arrives on Android Wear.  ( Image courtesy of Netflix )

Netflix recommendations finally arrive on Android to bring Google's mobile operating system up to date on a feature that already arrived on iOS, PS3, Xbox, the web and a number of set-top boxes.

Just like on the other platforms, Netflix' Social Recommendations on Android allows users to share recommendations, publicly or privately, with their friends and family. But Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation at Netflix, says there are a few features that are specific to the Android platform.

"First, we're taking full advantage of the rich Android push notification capabilities to add images and action buttons that let you watch, get more info, or thank your friend for a recommendation," says Johnson.

The second of the two Android-specific features brings recommendations to the Android Wear platform. Wearers can receive alerts about recommendations on their smart watches and they can also use the wearables to play content, thank friends for suggestions and get more details about what they're watching.

"You know that feeling when you've watched something really great, something that moves you or makes you laugh, and you immediately think of someone else who would love it, too? It's the feeling of wanting your friends and family to enjoy the show just as much as you did," Johnson said back in September.

While Android was a few months behind in getting Netflix's recommendations engine, it was first in line to receive the streaming media company's retooled search. The visual search for mobile landed on Android smartphones and tablets back in October -- iOS versions of the improved searches were scheduled to follow shortly after the Android release.

"[Presenting] the results in a grid of cover art allows the user to see more results at once on touchscreen devices such as mobile phones and tablets," Netflix stated in October. "This visual presentation reduces the cognitive load, making it easier to find what you're looking for."

And while iOS users await the improved search, Netflix has released support for 1080p video on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

The iPhone 6 series didn't bring to market new screen sizes. But Netflix says the introduction of the handset prompted it to roll out support for new screen sizes.

The optimizations Netflix made for the iPhone 6 series enables users of the devices to see more titles on their screens and larger imagery. Netflix says it also delivered some performance improvements in the update, though it didn't offer any specifics on them.

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