All the cool kids get Netflix…

I recently got an opportunity to upgrade my phone through Verizon Wireless. I took advantage of the opportunity and got the HTC Thunderbolt 4G (Android) one week after launch because the specs were amazing, and the early reviews were high.

I am pleased with the phone. Super pleased.┬áIt’s speed and reliability is far better than my previous HTC Droid Eris. I also love the Android OS, I’ve gotten really good at navigating my phones running Android, and I am a huge fan of the apps that are available. The combination is perfect for me and my usage.

But there are some things about it and the Android platform, in general, that annoy me.

The biggest is that there is no Netflix streaming app for Android. Well, there is, but…I’ll get to that in a minute.

For the iPhone, now available on AT&T and Verizon Wireless, there has been a Netflix streaming app available for at least a year now. If you ask me, this puts iPhone at a slight advantage over Google Android. I’ve never used an iPhone, but it seems just about as intuitive as Android with it’s own specific intricacies. The fact that you could stream movies and television shows from your phone (on an iPhone) is a no brainer and a great sell point.

So Netflix delivered the message that an Android app has been developed and has launched for some phones. How annoyed did you think I was when I saw that my phone, which hasn’t even been on the market for two months, is not supported for the app?

If you guessed “Very,” you are correct.

Here I am with a super fast phone, the only phone currently available to access Verizon Wireless’s 4G network (which I found was faster than my home WiFi when I got to try it out in NYC last weekend – can’t wait for 4G in Albany!), and I can’t stream Netflix.

I had to wait until this past week to get an updated Skype app which supports video chat (in and out via the front facing camera). That one was worth the wait, but still should have been available at launch of the phone with the hardware.

It would be like if they released a car that was powered by a special fuel that has yet to be synthesized.

The MyVerizon android app doesn’t even work for the Thunderbolt. When you go to download it, it will let you. And when you go to install it, it will let you. Yet, when you go to run it, you get a weird error. When I was running it on the Eris, it was amazing. Why would allow your current flagship phone to not support your official app?

Sure, go ahead, file this under the category of “first world problems.” But they’re first world problems that I’m paying for.

Fix this, Verizon Wireless…


10 thoughts on “All the cool kids get Netflix…

  • Johnny Hustle

    4g in albany? Good luck brother. A half hour out of albany there’s no 3G.

    • derryX

      Actually they have guaranteed that it’s coming in 2011. In NYC the 4G speed was ridiculous, it’ll be worth the wait, I’m sure.

  • Johnny Hustle

    I’d love the MA pike or perhaps the NY thruway west towards Rochester to get 3G before they get 4G. I’d be shocked if they can carry through with their gaurantee. When I travel, which is 4 days every week, I get 3G only half the time.

    • derryX

      I do agree that 3G coverage is not where it should be and that 4G seems to be coming pretty quickly into the 3G lifecycle.

  • Darth

    The people who stream Netflix on their iPhones are the same idiots who constantly complain that their battery is drained. Hmmm, I wonder why? Sorry – but i’m going to watch Netflix, it’s gonna be on a 42″ flatscreen. Or maybe a laptop. Not on a little sh*t 4″ screen. Cell phones are for communication, not jerking off to microscopic tits in Rated-R movies.

  • Johnny Hustle

    Lol Darth that’s actually pretty funny. Good bit. But some people travel. For example I’m only home 3 days a week, and some times I’m sitting in a parking lot waiting to go into a studio, and I’ll watch an episode if something. But watching anything on a tiny screen sucks.

  • Jeff

    Let’s not forget that the iPhone is the phone that drops calls depending on which hand you hold it with, and the company’s original solution was “don’t use that hand”. Let’s also not forget this wasn’t fixed when the iPhone started being sold on Verizon (a perfect opportunity to fix the design flaw, as the internal workings of the phone would need to have been updated anyway).

    Don’t get me wrong, the Android platform has it’s fair share of problems too (detailed nicely in the rest of the post), and I’m not trying to start an Android / iPhone debate, but I think Netflix is a weird point to focus on considering phone superiority.

    That being said, coming from a Dev’s perspective, I can at least explain why the Netflix App is better (and has better compatibility) on the iPhone –

    It’s a lot easier to develop for apple products, for one simple reason – There’s about 10 iterations of the hardware. The different iPhones, iPads (and maybe iTouch’s), all owned by the same company, all adhering to the same (or similar) design rules. With Android, it’s basically the Wild West. All kinds of different screen sizes (I’ve seen some phones that are completely rectangular), all kinds of different manufacturer and carrier lock downs, VERY different versions of the firmware. Android Apps def. take a lot longer for a lot of different reasons.

    Note the above isn’t an excuse (Shouldn’t release something until it’s good and ready IMO).

    • derryX

      Ohh I thought I was clear that I don’t wish to be an iPhone user in the least. I’m quite pleased with all of the functionality on my Android. And all your points are valid and appreciated.

      I was just saying that I won’t feel cool until I get a Netflix app on my phone, even if I never use the it.

  • Sue

    That sucks…especially since I’m getting an Android when I upgrade in – 43 days.

  • Andrea

    I am the cool kid!! It is supported on my EVO. So.:P. I have had my Droid for 6 months. I learn more and more everyday. Why they released that on limited phones I have no idea. Poor marketing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on the 4g, but I live an hour north of Albany. I’m not planning on it soon.


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