Editors' note: This review has been updated with new features from the latest version of Netflix for iOS released October 3, 2013.
Netflix for iOS lets subscribers watch movies and TV shows in the service's Instant Watch library. While the streaming service's catalog isn't nearly as strong as the Netflix DVD library, it's great to have the option to pick from several shows to watch on an iOS device wherever you are. What's more, in the latest version, iOS 7 users will able watch movies in HD.
The Netflix app's straightforward design starts off with a home screen that shows your most recently viewed and incomplete shows at the top for easy access, then featured content like Top Picks and popular shows. You can swipe up to view more content from various genres, then swipe left to view more shows from each genre. Of course you can also browse for flicks and shows by more typical genres, like Action, TV Shows, and Comedies, by hitting a Browse button in the upper left.
When you touch a title, the app shows you all the details: the star rating, synopsis, and the list of episodes for TV shows. A drop-down menu lets you quickly switch to a later season and you can browse by episode in the list below.
Watching movies and TV shows
The viewing controls on Netflix pop up when you tap, and disappear after a few seconds while you watch a video. A new, bigger button lets you scrub through the timeline with a little window that shows the exact point of the video you are in -- great for finding the part of the show you want to watch. A rewind button lets you go back 10 seconds in the show. A new volume control is now in the upper right that lets you control your iPad volume by swiping right or left, and it works smoothly in real time. There are also controls for changing the language (when supported) and you can turn on subtitles for silent viewing (when supported). All the interface controls worked very smoothly in our testing with no delayed response whatsoever.