Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How the Netflix Mobile App Works

        Tech | Cell Phone Apps

Netflix Mobile App Features
You'll have a more limited selection of movies available for streaming than with DVDs but the viewing quality will be about the same.
You'll have a more limited selection of movies available for streaming than with DVDs but the viewing quality will be about the same.
William Andrev/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Once you have the mobile app, you'll wonder, "What can it do?" The answer is: Anything you could do on the Netflix site. Just smaller.

In fact, the only thing Netflix Mobile compromises is size: tiny buttons and a small screen you can't comfortably share during a whole movie [source: Ackerman]. All other features are the same. You'll get the same streaming selections you would find on the Netflix website. (These are limited compared to what you can get via DVDs.) You can start movies from where you left off and buffering is quick. Streaming quality is high and controlled by easy-to-understand buttons.

You will want to make sure your data plan can support the strong demands of streaming. Streaming video does eat up a lot of data, so check with your phone provider to ensure you're not stuck with fees for going over your limit. Streaming a two-hour movie from Netflix will use around 300 megabytes of data [source: Miller].

One thing you'll definitely like is the precautions Netflix has taken to ensure streaming security. This has actually caused some of the delay in releasing new Android app versions, because Netflix has had to customize security on each version [source: Boulton]. So far, it seems the biggest complaint about the app is the delay in getting it to every device.