Android Changed the Game for Netflix, Warranted New App

By Monica Gleberman March 15, 2012

Netflix users felt abandoned when the subscriber-based video streaming service garnered glitches that many Apple users said they didn’t see on their iOS devices. But since the demand for Android services and apps increased, Netflix has taken notice.

According to Netflix’s own stats, after initially releasing the application for only a handful of phones a year ago, the service has implemented big changes to its system and now streams on almost 1000 different devices daily.

The problem Netflix faced was that Android devices currently in the market came in all shapes, sizes, formats, specifications and operating systems. The company wanted to make sure it would release a streaming app that would reach the most amounts of users. Netflix began working with developers on creating a modified solution including new framework, coding and HTML interfacing.

The company said using the modified framework made the application possible.

“With this solution in place, we are able to automate all of our key scenarios, such as login, browsing the movie catalog, searching and controlling movie playback,” said Netflix. “We have a continuous build integration system that allows us to run our automated smoke tests on each submit on a bank of devices. With the framework in place, we are able to quickly ascertain build stability across the vast array of makes and models that are part of the Android ecosystem.”

Netflix said after multiple tests and research, they can finally make the application more efficient on more devices. The company can’t test for 1,000 devices all the time, so it prioritizes.

“With this information, we have taken stock of all the devices we have in house and classified them based on their specs,” the company explained. “We figured out the optimal combination of devices to give us maximum coverage. We are able to reduce our daily smoke automation devices to around 10 phones and 4 tablets and keep the rest for the longer release wide test centers.”

Netflix credits their team of developers with a high standard of efficiency: “Focused full time employees on building solutions that scale and automation is a key part of this effort…These approaches give our team time to watch their favorite movies to ensure that we have the best mobile streaming video solution in the industry.”

Edited by Braden Becker

Contributing Writer

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