Netflix Queue Management
Netflix is a favorite service among iOS users, but it has a frustrating tendency to “improve” itself from time to time by removing or fundamentally changing key features. The most recent changes involve limiting API access and changing the queue to resemble a list. Luckily, there are a number of iOS apps that can fill the void. Due to the ever-changing Netflix API, every app that connects to Netflix is prone to bugs and/or crashes, which has plummeted all of their App Store ratings. To get a proper sense of these apps, we compared them in order to find the app that is best able to function as a substitute Netflix queue.
Movies by Flixster, with Rotten Tomatoes
Movies by Flixster isn't the best Netflix queue manager, but it is an essential app for anyone with a Netflix account. The app is a great resource for information on movies and TV, including titles' availability on various streaming platforms. The app displays reviews and related videos for each title, which should make it easier to select titles for your queue. Managing your Netflix queue in Flixster can be frustrating, as the feature itself is difficult to find and slow to load queues, but it does work. Even if you use another queue manager, Flixster is useful to have on your device.
InstantWatcher is the app version of the popular website that focuses on Netflix Instant’s catalog. Unsurprisingly, the app is very useful for finding available instant view titles and learning about expiring titles. InstantWatcher is quite fast and has less loading time than most other apps, probably because it is largely text-based. If the app were updated for the iPhone 5 and made it easier to rearrange the order of items in your queue, it would be essential for any Netflix Instant subscriber.
FlicksMan - Netflix Queue Manager
FlicksMan is a solid, no-frills option for queue management that has the added bonus of being in active development. In fact, the developer has already promised to correct some bugs resulting from the recent Netflix API changes. FlicksMan can manage both DVD and Instant queues, has many browsing options, and even has an option to save your search. The app is ad-supported, but they can be removed for a $2 IAP. FlicksMan is somewhat slow to load, and lacks iPad support.
CineTap for Netflix
Cinetap offers a fantastic browsing experience that’s tailored for Netflix users, but it also lacks some key functions. Specifically, the search function no longer works properly, and the app doesn't offer queue management without a separate IAP for each version of the app. Additionally, the app lacks retina graphics, and the iPhone version doesn't support full screen. Still, Cinetap's browse function is extremely well-designed, with titles' availability, expiration date, and presence in your queue all visible with a glance. Hopefully the developers of Cinetap will update it to function better with Netflix's changes.
QueueView - Netflix queue alerts
The aptly-named QueueView lets you view and sort your instant queue from a mobile device. For a $0.99 IAP, you gain the ability to search for titles, add them to your queue, and then reorder your queue. QueueView’s best feature is its ability to sort your queue using various criteria— expiring, genre, ratings— without permanently changing its order. Unfortunately, this is not enough to recommend it over other, more robust options.
Q Scan for Netflix
QScan differentiates itself from its competitors in two ways: (1) users can scan titles into their queue using an integrated barcode scanner, and (2) users can connect their Facebook accounts for a more social experience. Aside from those features, QScan is barebones at best. The app only supports Netflix Instant queues, and has negligible browsing options.