Joining Netflix on iPhone just got a whole lot easier — here's how

Netflix logo on a mobile phone screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you need to sign up for Netflix, then it's just become a lot easier to do on your iPhone or iPad.

Chances are you're already paying for Netflix (or have just left going by recent subscriber numbers), but if you do want to join, you can now do so through the Netflix app, rather than having to sign up separately and then log-in afterward as you had to do under Apple's older, more restrictive App Store rules.

As you can see in the screenshots below, you are now directed to your browser after a warning from Apple about how it's not responsible for what happens on the external website.

Three screenshots showing the new Netflix sign-up process on iOS

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Netflix is a prominent example, but you'll likely see this scenario now with more and more apps thanks to this rule change. As convenient as it is to sign up and pay for everything through Apple's services, some argue that it is an anti-competitive system since Apple requires all developers give it 30% of revenue made this way, and Apple previously wouldn't allow links to external payment systems either.

This new freedom applies to what Apple calls "reader" apps, which it defines as apps that have the primary purpose of offering digital content like books, music and video. That notably excludes anything relating to gaming (blame the Apple vs. Epic Games trial for that), but does give users the freedom to pay for many popular services on your iPhone without going through Apple.

Once you've got your new Netflix subscription up and running, what should you watch? You could take a look at what's new on Netflix this month, or check out our picks for the best Netflix shows or best Netflix movies. Just keep an eye on your bank balance though as Netflix raised its prices earlier this year. It might be a bit more expensive to binge all these shows and movies than you remember.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.