Android Wear Can Now Control Netflix

Smartwatches haven't quite reached their full sci-fi potential yet, but at least you can now use one to watch a movie. The latest Netflix update on Android adds a few much-needed features, but the biggest improvement is the ability to control the app via an Android Wear smartwatch.

If you keep your Android apps up to date, you should already have the latest version of Netflix (3.9.0, build 4039). This update implements some features that used to be exclusive to iOS, such as sharing recommendations with specific people on Facebook and using your smartphone as a remote control. (Depending on how you watch Netflix, Android smartphones have already had similar features when screen mirroring or using streaming devices like Chromecasts.)

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Controlling Netflix from a smartwatch is a feature currently restricted to Android Wear. There's nothing terribly exciting about it: You can see a logo for the show or movie you're watching, then play, pause and like the video on Facebook at appropriate intervals. Still, if you're going to use your Android device as a remote, touching a smartwatch is more convenient than whipping your phone out of your pocket every time you want a snack break.

If you have an Android Wear watch, an Android mobile device and a Netflix subscription, the feature seems to be worth checking out. Hopefully, this will pave the way for more unconventional and exciting smartwatch features in the future.

Marshall Honorof is a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at Follow him @marshallhonorof. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.