Netflix adds little-known PS3 remote control feature to iOS and Android apps in latest update

Netflix released updates to its excellent iOS and Android apps recently, bringing a new UI and some much-needed performance improvements. And while the navigational improvements are lovely, there’s an experimental app feature that few are talking about — likely because, due to its beta status, the company is keeping relatively quiet about it.

If your PlayStation 3 is connected to the same WiFi network as your iOS or Android device, Netflix is able to synchronize your experience across devices. The smartphone app is therefore useful as a remote control to begin playback, pause, fast-forward or rewind content.

The idea is an extension of the multiple screens philosophy that Netflix has adopted so much better than its competitors: existing content is saved in place, and can be started again from any compatible device, whether big-screen or portable. This new feature is a way to consolidate that experience, since our smartphones are often closer to us than our television remotes.

To enable it, ensure the aforementioned criteria are met, and double-tap a movie or TV show to begin instant playback. As long as your PS3 is on the same WiFi network, it will ask you which device you want to start playing it on.

For an example, we’ve embedded a video after the break detailing how the integration works.

If you’ve yet to try Netflix, there’s a free one-month trial, and it costs $7.99/month thereafter.

Download Netflix for iOS and Android.