Version Reviewed: 2.1
iPhone Integration [rating:5/5]
User Interface [rating:5/5]
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
This app isn't produced by NetFlix, but it should be. It does a spectacular job of controlling all aspects of managing your NetFlix rentals. Not only does a good job, but it looks nice too!
The interface is very straightforward. Starting up the app for the first time prompts you to log into your NetFlix account. If you have multiple accounts, you can add them to the list on the first page and access each account individually. If you use one account all the time, you can set it to automatically log in every time you launch the application.
Other settings available include Fast Login which initially only loads part of your queue information to speed up login. There is also a Detailed Queue toggle, but I could not tell the difference when it was on or off. The Instant Queue toggle places an additional button at the top of your queue list, but gave me an error every time I tried to use it. Finally, there are toggles for telling the app when to load the graphics for the movie thumbnails, so that you can turn off images when you are on Edge or 3G if you want the pages to load more quickly.
Once iFlix logs you in, you are presented with your current movie queue. Movies are presented as clapboards with a miniature version of the movie's poster inside. A nice touch. The first part of the movie's description is also displayed, but pressing the blue "go to" icon slides to a page with the full description. There is an option to click on the poster icon to take you to the NetFlix website for the additional movie information it has such as cast listings and reviews. It does this with it's own simple, built-in browser, rather than opening Safari.
Once you have visited the movie's web page, additional icons appear underneath the movie's title in your queue, reflecting the average rating and film rating. Unfortunately, these details disappear again once you've signed out or quit the app. It would be nice if the app could cache these details so that the app didn't have to poll the NetFlix website so often.
Back on the pre-web description page, the app also allows you to rate your movies, which will update your movie ratings in your NetFlix account. No more need to respond to those "please rate this movie" emails!
Other tabs within the app include a list of recently rented movies, including the current one you have at home or in transit, a Search function to find you movies on NetFlix, your "For You" recommendations from NetFlix, and a Browse function to allow you to look through the available movies by name, genre, or the Top 100.
At the time of this writing, some of the features of the app had been disabled by changes in the NetFlix web site, but the developer has assured users that he is working on an update to fix this soon.
One of the nicer features the developer has added, but seems broken currently, is that he uses the accelerometer on the queue list page. At the top of the list is normally the next movie to be shipped out, but if you have a long list of movies in waiting and want to see them in reverse order, you can flip your iPhone/iPod Touch 180 degrees to "flip" the listing. This may not be the most efficient way to change the list order, but it's more fun. Another simple, but very useful option is available when you click to add a movie to your queue. A dialog appears giving you the choice of adding the movie to the end of your queue or the beginning.
In my opinion, the app is a must have. I find myself getting movie recommendation from friends or thinking of movies I want to see out of the blue, and I love having this app at my fingertips to add items or change which movie ships out on a whim. I hardly ever go to the NetFlix web site anymore. I would love to see some kind of way to use the iPhone's camera to scan movies to automatically add them to my list. Some apps are already doing this for books and other items. I'm not sure the developer has the kinds of resources needed for that, but something to think about eh?