Porting one of the most in demand services to the most popular smartphones and tablets seems a no brainerr, but porting Netflix to the Android platform is causing headaches.
According to a recent blog post from the company, Netflix application has begun to roll out a free app available for download for the burgeoning Android market which leading researchers say is growing more rapidly than that of arch rival Apple for whom Netflix already has a mobile video proposition for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
Even though Netflix regards the Android platform as providing huge potential for its online video service, the Android Market download will initially be available only on select phones that currently have the requisite playback support. Namely, these comprise the HTC Incredible with Android 2.2; HTC Nexus One with Android 2.2, 2.3; HTC Evo 4G with Android 2.2; HTC G2 with Android 2.2; Samsung Nexus S with Android 2.3.
The reason cited for the limited amount of devices is that Netflix believes there are still significant challenges associated with developing a streaming video application for this ecosystem.
One of these is the lack of standard streaming playback features that the Netflix application can use to gain broad penetration across all available Android phones explained Netflix Product Manager Roma De. The ramifications of this would be, added De: “We have to test each individual handset and launch only on those that can support playback. We are aggressively qualifying phones and look forward to expanding the list of phones on which the Netflix app will be supported. “
Netflix reassured the Android community that it would work with ecosystem partners to expand playback support to resolve the majority of the technical challenges in the near future and that it would be able to provide an app that would work on a large majority of Android phones