Netflix has received a substantial overhaul on the iPhone and iPad, with a new look and updated ways of scrolling through the app.
The changes come as the app celebrates 16 years as a streaming service. It was in January 2007 that the company announced that it would let people watch films and TV over the internet, without even having to download them – marking a major break from what was then a company that emailed DVDs.
The new updates do not seem to be timed with that anniversary, but do bring a major change to the way that people navigate around the streaming app.
The new design was intended to make “Netflix feel more fluid, delightful, and polished”, according to one of the designers that worked on it.
Among other changes, the design includes a new “billboard layout” that will respond as users move their device around. The lighting in the app will change, making it look as if the films and TV shows are moving with the phone.
It also includes new wallpaper looks that will take colours from the poster of the film or TV show, new look transitions between the apps, and other kinds of changes to the animations and the “haptics” that give little vibrations to help move around.
Another of the designers of the new look hinted that there were “small tidbits sprinkled everywhere” and challenged users to “try to find them all”.
Janum Trivedi, one of those designers, suggested that Netflix had been testing the new look and that it had succeeded.
“Netflix is really big on metrics and AB testing, and this was a really significant win across the board,” he wrote on Twitter. “Don’t let anyone try telling you craft and quality doesn’t matter to the business.”
While Netflix has attracted some criticism for the content on its platform, including for cancelling shows that have high followings, the app and their streaming service regularly win plaudits for their stability and quality.