SEARCH

How-To Geek

Watch Netflix On Your iPhone or iPhone Touch Without a Jailbreak or Hack

To watch streaming Netflix content on your iPhone in the past you needed to jailbreak and hack it, but no longer. Today we look at the new official Netflix app that will now stream content to your iPhone or iPod Touch.

With the introduction of Instant Streaming movies from Netflix in your browser, or other media apps like Boxee, and Zinc TV…the service just keeps getting better. While iPad users already had the option, yesterday they launched an official Netflix App that allows you to stream Instant Content from Netflix to your iPhone or iPod Touch. Previously to get streaming to your iPhone you needed to jailbreak it, but now the app is official and you don’t need to worry about voiding your iPhone or iPod Touch warranty.

Note: You will need to be signed up for a Netflix Unlimited Instant Streaming account which starts at $8.99 but the app is free.

sshot-2010-08-26-[22-46-54]

Install and Setup Netflix App

First you’ll need to download and install the official Netflix app either from iTunes (link below) or the App Store directly on your device – here we’re using the iPod Touch with iOS 4.0.3.

sshot-2010-08-26-[21-20-16]

After you have the app installed you’ll need to log into your Netflix account or create one if you’re not already a member.

sshot-2010-08-26-[21-22-51]

Browsing and Watching Netflix Content

After signing in you’re brought to your Homepage. We were pleasantly surprised to see that we could immediately Resume an Instant Streaming movie that we were previously watching in Netflix through Windows Media Center.

sshot-2010-08-26-[21-23-13]

We decided to go ahead and Resume the film and were brought to an overview screen of what the documentary is about then tapped Resume.

sshot-2010-08-26-[21-23-47]

The movie loaded quickly and started from the point where we left off. Notice you have basic video playback and volume controls like you would watching it on a computer.

sshot-2010-08-26-[21-31-42]

In the Genres section you can browse for new Instant Streaming movies and other videos by category.

sshot-2010-08-26-[21-33-24]

sshot-2010-08-26-[21-34-48]

Or you can search for specific titles as well.

sshot-2010-08-26-[21-33-47]

You can go through your Instant Queue as well and see what’s in it and start watching anything there too.

sshot-2010-08-26-[21-34-26]

While you’re browsing the different available movies you can tap on the thumbnail to start playing it right away…

sshot-2010-08-26-[21-59-04]

sshot-2010-08-26-[21-59-40]

Or tap the movie name to get an overview of what it’s about and add it to your Instant Queue or start watching it.

sshot-2010-08-26-[22-00-13]

Adding Movies or TV to Your Queue

When you find a movie you like you can easily add it to your Instant Queue by tapping on the Add to Instant button.

sshot-2010-08-26-[22-00-48]

Then you’ll have the option to move it to the top or your Queue or tap OK to just add it to the list.

sshot-2010-08-26-[22-01-15]

Here you can see we moved Start Trek: First Contact to the top of our Instant Queue.

sshot-2010-08-26-[22-01-43]

On your Home screen you’ll get suggestions of movies in the same genre as ones you’ve previously watched.

sshot-2010-08-26-[22-02-16]

Also, if you watched movies, TV shows, or added anything to your Instant Queue, that will be reflected in your account on the Netflix website.

sshot-2010-08-26-[23-03-47]

And you’ll be able to resume a movie or TV episode you were in the middle of on your iOS device from your computer.

sshot-2010-08-26-[23-14-12]

Instant Streaming TV Episodes

With available TV shows available for streaming, you can browse through the seasons and watch specific episodes as well.

sshot-2010-08-26-[22-49-08]

Just like with Movies you can play them right away, add them to your Queue, and resume them where you left off.

sshot-2010-08-26-[22-54-03]

Family Guy streaming over Wi-Fi to an iPod Touch…Awesome!

sshot-2010-08-26-[22-54-36]

You’ll have the ability to stream content over Wi-Fi or through your 3G connection on your iPhone. When streaming over Wi-Fi to our iPod Touch we had no problems with buffer delay or stutter. 

The coolest thing about Netflix Instant Streaming is you can start watching a movie on your HTPC, then go into another room and resume it on your Laptop, then finish it on your portable iOS device right from where you left off or the other way around. Of course not everything is available for Instant Streaming yet, but they are adding more titles everyday, so it’s nice to have an Unlimited account so you can get DVDs of stuff that isn’t available to stream.

It doesn’t yet provide full functionality like managing DVDs in your Shipping Queue or managing your account, but for overall browsing of Instant content and watching it from you iOS device, the Netflix app is definitely a winner.

Download Netflix for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 08/27/10

Comments (6)

  1. David

    OK, so By When for Android? :)

  2. Toby

    Can you stream a movie on iPhone 4, and plug it up to your tv and watch it that way? Like you might be at a friends house and want to watch a movie from your iPhone on their tv.

  3. Thomas Brown

    I am severely disappointed by whoever rated The IT Crowd 1 star.

  4. yaz

    Hi Toby,
    netflix won’t aux out to the vga output by itself but with the help from a jail broken app like “tv out tuner” it will help with that. I wish there was some way of buffering the movie though. i just traveled across 3 states with the iphone plugged into my video system in the car playing netfilx movies for the kids. when in good coverage of 3g areas it worked well. however when traveled into fair 3g coverage or edge areas, even things like going through underpasses, valleys or by other obstructions and the movie starts to hang instantly. i would love to see the next version with video out built in and either buffer all or even some of the movie!

  5. Seth

    YAZ,

    How do you connect the phone to the TV?

  6. Cami

    We are going on a flight tomorrow. Is there a way to use Netflix without a Wifi connection i.e. can we download movies and watch them on the flight? I don’t really want to pay the wifi fee.

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!