The official Netflix app has updated with a few design changes to help it work better with Windows 10. Since the launch of Windows 10, the previous versions of the Netflix app required the user to either swipe down twice from the top of the screen or right click the app for account options due to the different way in which the operating system dealt with Windows 8 apps. With this update though, these options have been added to a new ellipsis menu right within the app. The majority of the options simply open a web browser and take the user to the official Netflix website but it is nice to have access to them made easier. It is a bit strange that the logout option is in this menu and not under the user profile menu but perhaps that will be changed in a future update.
One of the big changes in Windows 10 was the move away from fullscreen apps. In Windows 8, clicking on an app would open it in its full, taskbar free, edge-to-edge fullscreen glory. In Windows 10 though, almost all apps now open in small windows that need to be manually expanded to a fullscreen mode but most of the time this fullscreen mode still has a system bar across the top of the app and the taskbar along the bottom. Some apps such as Microsoft’s new Solitaire Collection provide a secondary in-app option to make an app truly fullscreen but others such as Age of Empires: Castle Siege remain permanently windowed in Windows 10’s Desktop mode and require users to manually switch over to Tablet mode just to get rid of the system bar. Netflix has now joined this latter group of apps and now appears completely windowed when opening up in Desktop mode.
Previously there had been an option to expand to full screen but that has since been removed. Videos now also play within the windowed environment and now require the manual selection of fullscreen from a new in-video button which expands the video. Interestingly, after expanding a playing video to fullscreen and pressing the upper-left back button from within the video player, the entire Netflix app continues to run in fullscreen. It’s unclear if this is a glitch or a deliberate design option but it is welcome as there’s nothing more annoying than having to switch back and forth between modes when you just feel like browsing and playing videos.
Many users had noticed that the Netflix UI was rendering significantly smaller in previous versions of the app on Windows 10. This has been fixed with this new update but has created another issue; the UI is now too big on devices like the first and second generation Surface Pro and requires users to use vertical scrollbars to view the entire menu (see image). This bug doesn’t occur after eventually getting the app into proper fullscreen mode but since all Windows 10 users are given the windowed version of the app first, this will likely affect most people running the app on a device with a widescreen aspect ratio.
What do you think about the updated Netflix app? Do you appreciate these refinements or are you longing for the return of the much simpler Windows 8 app? Is the app rendering okay on your Windows 10 device? Let us know in the comments below.