Although the web-based version of Google's Android Market still shows the Netflix app as v1.3 as of this writing, the phone-based Android Market app reveals an updated Netflix v1.4. This new version now supports all Android 2.2 "Froyo" and 2.3 "Gingerbread" smartphones. Unfortunately, the app is still ridiculously too big, residing in the main memory for 19.91 MB after a portion is shoved over to the SD card.
The Netflix app for Android has come a long way since its debut back in May. Due to hardware DRM requirements, only the Samsung Nexus S and five additional HTC phones running Froyo were able to support the video streaming service.
"Although we don’t have a common platform security mechanism and DRM, we are able to work with individual handset manufacturers to add content protection to their devices," the company said back in November 2010 before the first apps were released. "Unfortunately, this is a much slower approach and leads to a fragmented experience on Android, in which some handsets will have access to Netflix and others won’t."
But by v1.3 which was released two months later, the list had expanded to 21 additional devices like the original Motorola DROID, the Lenovo IdeaPad tablet, the Samsung Epic 4G and a handful more. Now it seems that the Netflix Android team has overcome the fragmentation and DRM issues, and has presented an app that all v2.2 and v2.3 consumers can use.
To stream Netflix to a Froyo or Gingerbread phone, users will need a subscription to the $7.99/month subscription streaming plan at the very least.