Snapdragon Android handsets to get first dibs on Netflix app

We knew that Netflix had plans to bring their application to the Android operating system to select handsets sometime in early 2011, but the picture is much more clear now. Today Qualcomm announced that future Android devices that ship with Snapdragon processors will be first to get access to the streaming Netflix application.

Since Android hardware varies in from phone to phone, it proved to be a big challenge for Netflix to give an application that works across the board. Well, that didn’t seem to work out, which explains why the two teamed up to bring the much sought after application to the platform.

“Qualcomm is in a unique position to help bring the most optimized and advanced Android apps to market through working closely with the strong ecosystem of Snapdragon developers like Netflix.”

Those looking for a handset that will eventually get streaming Netflix should look at devices like the HTC Thunderbolt. When we got some hands on with the LG Revolution, it already had the Netflix application installed, so we can expect to see the handset ship with the app. Maybe it’s just the wording of the press release, but Qualcomm certainly makes it sounds as if Netflix will only be available for newer Android handsets using Snapdragon CPUs. There’s no mention of existing Android handsets with Snapdragon innards getting the app.

As far as other devices that use other processors, like NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 platform, it’s anyone’s guess. We can imagine that the application may eventually get ported over, but when is a whole different matter. Netflix will eventually come to other devices not using Snapdragon CPUs, but Qualcomm has a big advantage right now.

While we’re certainly glad to hear that the app is hitting the Android platform,  the OS itself is rather fragmented on it’s own, depending on who you ask. This move by Qualcomm makes it look like they are fragmenting an already fragmented platform, and that may not sit too well for some people. Nonetheless, this is still good news, and hopefully we’ll be hearing more about the availability of the app for handsets that use different processors.

Will the availability of Netflix on specific Android phones play a big part in your next handset purchase?


  • Anonymous

    “Will the availability of Netflix on specific Android phones play a big part in your next handset purchase?”

    Yes, it will probably make me just get an iPhone as I’m already a little tired of not knowing if my Android phones will get updates. This makes that situations even worse.

    • Anonymous

      Have fun. No one is asking you to stay with Android. 🙂

      • Anonymous

        No, but you did ask if further fragmentation would play a part in my next phone purchase.

        I have 3 Android phones on my account. 1 with 2.2, 1 with 2.1 that has been announced to not get an update and 1 with 2.1 that “may” get an update. I just got hit today with the first 2.2 and up only update for a favorite app. That makes 2 of my phones SOL and unable to enjoy the app update. Now add to that the fact that entire phone lines may be excluded from certain apps regardless of OS version and it isn’t a pretty picture for Android users unless you are just a blind fanboi, which you seem to be based on your reply.

        I really wish Google would step in and take a little more control to ensure OS updates so users don’t feel burned and move on. I prefer Android to iOS, but don’t want to get the shaft each time I get a phone. I want stuff to just work, and I’m sure most non techy people will too.

      • Anonymous

        No, but you did ask if this would play a part in my next handset purchase.

        I love Android and have 3 different Androids on my plan. One has 2.2 and may get 2.3, one has 2.1 and may get 2.2 and the other has 2.1 and has been announced that no further upgrades will be coming. I just got a 2.2 and up only update to one of our favorite apps today (foursquare). I get to have it on my 2.2 phone but the other two are S.O.L. This will continue to be a sore spot for the average user as we move forward and handset makers arbitrarily decide to not update phones that honestly could very easily run the updates, especially ones that actually make the software more optimized like 2.2 is over 2.1. Add to this the fact that now entire phone lines won’t get software regardless of OS and that makes the situation even worse for the average user that just wants stuff to work.

        In fairness, this particular issue has nothing to do with Android in general and is only a DRM issue with, by and for the content suppliers. But the OS version fragmentation will hurt Android as a platform I’m afraid unless Google steps in and does something. This hurts the developers too, not just the users. For example, I buy tons of stuff for my iPod. I feel very confident that it will all just work when I get my next gen iPod or iPhone. Android? I’ve bought very little. Some of the stuff won’t work on two of the phones I have today, how likely then is it to work on my next phone? Who knows…therefore I keep my credit card in my pocket on the Android side.

        • FLAME ON!
          You know what would solve that problem? Custom ROMS. The original Droid, which was the first majorly popular Android phone, is currently rocking Gingerbread thanks to ROM cookers. When the “average user” doesn’t do enough research to see if the hardware is temporarily future proofed, isn’t it, on some level, their fault? You can’t by a $50 Backflip and expect it to get updated to Gingerbread.
          Also, wasn’t it announced that the iPhone 3g wouldn’t be receiving future updates? So isn’t the iPhone, to some level, suffering from the same problem?

          I don’t see how Blakes reply, in any way, made him sound like a kid? You’re just being a wise ass, and it seems like he was doing it right back.

          Quoting Family Guy makes you a tool.

  • Anonymous

    Not flaming, just pointing out a shortfall of Android that affects me.

    And unfortunately custom ROMs don’t solve the problem if by rooting and flashing it voids my warranty. That is unless the ROM cookers are going to supply new phones to people if the custom ROM breaks their phone or otherwise messes something up. Which is never going to happen. And honestly, this fact also puts to rest the ridiculous “but Android is open” argument too. I really don’t see as an “end user” how voiding my warranty, and possibly violating my contract, to put software on my phone is any more open than an iPhone user voiding their warranty to jailbreak their phone. That’s like saying the bank is open with free money because I was able to break in. To my knowledge there is only one “open” handset on the market, and that is the Nexux line. Even with those, I’m still not sure that you can flash custom software that didn’t come from Google without voiding your warranty. So “open” it isn’t.

    As far as future proofing, I agree with you…do the research. But even that wouldn’t help all of the Moto Cliq users that bought a phone and were explicitly told that they would get the 2.2 update only to be told later never mind, “we aren’t updating that phone”. Same thing happened to Samsung Behold II users. It came with 1.5 with the promise, from Samsung themselves, that it would get a 2.1 update. Then Sammy said it wasn’t going to happen, with a huge outcry from the press and users. They eventually relented and put out the 1.6 update so the users could at least get the new market and Google NAV. We all know what’s going on with good ole Sammy and the Galaxy S line. We also know that Sony has screwed over their XPeria X10 customers by saying, after the fact mind you, that no future OS updates will be coming. So it seems that even with research it is easy to get screwed.

    And you are correct that Apple is not going to support the 3G with OS 5 and beyond. You do realize that is an almost 3 year old phone right? I have an eight month old, top of the line EVO and I “may” get one more update…if I’m lucky. That compares to 3 years of OS updates and support how? Now add to this that even if I do get more updates I will never be able to “legally” get the Netflix app as the current rules stand. This sort of stuff is going to hurt Android, not help. As I pointed out, I love Android and want to see the best for it, and this approach isn’t it if it sours customers.

    I truthfully answered a question posed by Blake in his article without insult or sarcasm. In my second reply I outlined the tricky waters I’m in with my own Android phones in regards to OS updates. “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” is a stupid, child like reply, not the reply of a professional journalist. Though maybe “professional journalist” is my own mental construct. Perhaps he is just some web blogger and not a real journo. If so, my mistake.

    • Yeah, it voids your warranty, if the carrier finds out. The only way for that to happen is if you tell them. You can easily go back to stock, it’s not difficult at all. And keep in mind, Android is extremely open..when Google releases it. What carriers and manufacturers do with it is another story entirely, and I think they’re wrecking the platform. And as far as the Nexus line goes, Google even said Android was made to be modded.

      As far as your Evo goes, I’m pretty confident you’ll get a decent amount of updates. The Snapdragon line is extremely capable. The only thing holding it back (if you’re running stock) is HTC’s bs Sense skin.

  • Guest

    I think it is a mistake for NetFlix to go with Qualcomm to develop their application. It already shows their conflict of interest because they are developing for ‘their’ processor, and ‘maybe’ develop for the other processors too. If they do eventually develop for non-snapdragon processors, it will be crippled to an extent and they will say, buy a phone with a snapdragon in it.

    Sorry, I will buy a phone that meets my needs, not because a program is developed for one supplier. Bad move by Netflix. Who cares if this app will be ‘optimized’ for the snapdragon. It is not the processor that will provide a good/bad expirience for the user, it will be the network and signal strenght. Any processor over 1ghz will play just fine, but if you have only 1 bar of signal, or on extended network, that will be the cause of starting/stopping/freezing of a streaming video. If you have full bars of 3g service, it will run just fine.

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