Netflix has now completely retooled the UI shown on a user's television when its app is connected via a Chromecast device. First spotted by 9to5Google, the change isn't small either. Netflix has done away with the sparse trappings of the prior display. Those have instead been replaced with information and a graphical interface that is much more useful.
In short, the new UI showcased when a user connects the Netflix app to their Chromecast now mimics at least part of the app's interface.
It now shows a full-screen preview of a popular movie or show from the Netflix library. Just as with in-app previews, Netflix centers everything around a title image that represents the movie or show. Accompanying that, Netflix follows through to include its title, release date and age rating information, number of episodes — for shows — and a brief synopsis.
At the top-left-hand side of the UI, Netflix displays the connected user's username and their chosen avatar.
Beyond that initial revamp, Netflix also now prominently highlights its logo in the bottom-right-hand corner of the UI when media is paused. The pause menu utilizes an updated font. That carries over to the UI shown when the next episode of a series is getting ready to play automatically. The overall effect is that those segments of the interface are now much easier to notice and read.
The old Netflix UI with Chromecast was effectively non-existent
Now, the previous content and UI displayed when connecting the Netflix app to Chromecast is still present. Prior to the update, Netflix simply showed its own logo, filling nearly the entire screen. Just below that, it placed the Chromecast icon and the words "Ready to cast."
With its update, Netflix effectively shuffled that UI around. The Netflix logo has been resized significantly. That now resides at the bottom-left-hand side of the interface on the preview panel. The "Ready to cast" indicator is hanging around at a smaller scale too. That resides at the bottom-left, after the update, set just below the content's description.
This is really the least the company could do for its customers
The changes placed by Netflix appear to generally be focused on making it easier for users to take full advantage of the larger display.
In particular, moving the previews to the television or Chromecast-connected display also democratize the content choosing process. Especially where groups of people are sitting down to watch a movie or show. Now, users won't need to describe the shows they are considering to friends and family or pass their smartphone around the room. Instead, Netflix is laying out the details on the television.
Those are also based on recommendations personalized to individual users. So the new interface should be equally useful when a customer is watching media along.
The overall impact of the latest changes may be difficult to gauge. However, Netflix has effectively kept the same previous UI in place since it first started supporting Chromecast devices. While serviceable, that wasn't necessarily the most helpful interface for users. With consideration for various price hikes for the service over the past several years, the changes will undoubtedly be appreciated by users across the board.