Netflix for iPad gets a sexy new interface

Netflix 2.0 gives iPad users a tasty new user interface, plus the promise of improved stability (for all iOS users).

The vastly improved Netflix 2.0 for iPad.

Last month, Android tablet owners were treated to a Netflix interface overhaul, one designed to help users "more easily discover the content they want to watch."

Now it's the iPad's turn: just-released Netflix 2.0 brings a refreshed interface to Apple's tablet. The update is available now, and it's a required download: you can no longer run the previous version of the app.

According to Netflix Product Manager Zal Bilimoria, "The new app is really a big step forward; it is much more immersive and provides greater focus on our growing catalog by displaying twice as many titles than the previous interface. In addition, through optimization for touch-enabled tablets, Netflix members can now swipe through rows and rows of titles featuring larger artwork."

In my mind, the biggest improvement is the Continue Watching carousel, which shows thumbnails of the last six shows you were watching and lets you resume any one of them with just one tap. Previously, the app showed only the most recently viewed video.

In other respects, the app comes closer to Netflix's Web interface, with large, scrolling carousels for things like Suspenseful Movies, Emotional Sports Movies, and Newly Added TV Shows. Of course, you can also browse by genre and search the library. The app also seems a lot faster and more responsive.

Bottom line: huge improvement. Alas, iPhone and iPod Touch users are stuck with the same mediocre interface, though version 2.0 does at least promise better stability. (It's also newly available to Latin America.)

What do you think of Netflix's new look? And what about Netflix in general these days? Still a good deal? (If you want my take, read my recent post: "In defense of Netflix.")