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Netflix on Xbox One Just Got a Whole Lot Worse

by Kyle Hanson

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Despite my complaining when Microsoft focused so heavily on TV and entertainment features during the Xbox One unveiling, I have found myself actually using the system quite often for these purposes. Whether it is Cable TV, Youtube, or Netflix, my Xbox One is usually streaming some kind of video for my entertainment. Unfortunately, that experience has just gotten a whole lot worse thanks to an update that has changed the Netflix app significantly. For reference, the older version is above and the newer one below.

That experience has just gotten a whole lot worse thanks to an update that has changed the Netflix app significantly

Admittedly the new update brings the Xbox One app more in-line with other Netflix apps, like the one for PS4 and others on Smart TVs. However, the Xbox One had a more unique interface because it featured different ways to navigate. As much as I usually dislike voice commands, using Kinect actually made the browsing process faster and easier. Gesture controls also worked, although I was never a big fan of those.Unfortunately many of the commands users used to have at their disposal were removed in the recent update, such as true fast forwarding and many menu navigation options.

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The navigation and control options weren’t the only things affected by the update. On top of all of this the menu was downgraded from native 1080p to 720p. Also, the Xbox One Netflix app no longer works in Snap mode, which is a feature that Microsoft has been heavily enhancing since launch. Whether a future update will re-enable Snap mode is yet to be seen, but many users will be anxiously waiting for one.

Regular users have certainly taken notice of the issues. Despite the update hitting a few days ago, Twitter is still filled with complaints about the new app. Here is just one example “Your new Xbox One layout is atrocious. Why fix something that isn’t broken? Or better yet, why break something that is functional?” Reddit also had a thread opened about the new update, with many of the top comments being complaints. Reddit user SativaSammy seemed to sum up everyone’s issues by saying “Before the update, I could control everything I need on the app with my voice. After the update, I have to use a controller. This is a bad update.”

Unfortunately there is no way to reverse the update, it is mandatory and you cannot download the older version. Since the Xbox One app now matches other Netflix apps designed for TVs it is likely that the update will stay. Still, users are angry so a response from Netflix would be nice.

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