Apps & Software

Netflix reveals plans to launch new iOS/Android second screen experience


Following the platform’s rapid global expansion earlier this year, Netflix now plans to focus on producing significantly more original content, as well as the launch of an iOS/Android second screen experience.

During a recent closed-door meeting at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Netflix showed off what the streaming video platform’s subscribers can expect from the company in 2016. Netflix’s plans for this year include a focus on ramping up its original content production, improving the service’s iOS and Android app with second screen support and adding support for high dynamic range video content (HDR), a relatively new and improved version of 4K that features more dynamic colour. HDR is widely regarded as the future of high-resolution video, though it’s not supported by most recently released 4K televisions.

As an early adopter of 4K, it makes sense for Netflix to  jump on HDR early, so the company announcing this move isn’t surprising. During the presentation, Chris Jaffe, Netflix’s Vice-president of user interface, explained that the company views HDR as the next step for the platform in terms of video resolution and quality. Over the next few months, a selection of Netflix’s original programming will be available in the new format, including season one of Marco Polo, as well as the second season of Daredevil, with plans to add more HDR content in the future.

Perhaps most interestingly, Netflix says it will launch 30 new shows this year, which includes seasons of existing popular original series like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Ten original movies, original documentaries and exclusive children’s content, will also reportedly hit the platform, according to Netflix.

On the mobile side of things, Netflix will soon launch an overhaul of its iOS mobile app, and a new in-app setting that aims to make it easier for users to manage their mobile data usage, a feature that will likely appeal to data strapped Canadian mobile users. Additionally, a second screen experience, which has reportedly been in development for a number of years, will soon allow viewers to use their Android and iOS devices as a secondary device when watching content on Netflix. For example, an image of the actor featured in the show or movie you’re watching, complete with a short bio, is displayed when this second screen experience is activated.

Netflix also revealed plans to bring more than 300 hours of 4K content to its service over the course of 2016 on top of its ambitious HDR plans.

Netflix’s revamped mobile apps are expected to launch over the course of the next few weeks.