The Netflix experience on the Android TV was not very good for people looking for a universal search feature, and this complaint has now been addressed. The Android Twitter account states that the Android TV’s universal search feature will now make it possible for users to search through Netflix’s library.
Netflix now on Android TV search
For the Android TV, universal search is a key feature, and the lack of a large streaming partner was noticeable. Since streaming devices from Apple and Roku had similar capabilities the absence was particularly strange.
Screenshots of the new feature show that when someone searches for a Netflix show, a card comes up with a cover image, description and link to open the app. An image from the show fills the background, and when the user scrolls down, they get to see the cast list. This interface comes up when searching from anywhere in the Android TV.
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Whether an update to the Netflix app is needed for universal search integration or its triggered server-side is not clear as of now. Also there are no updates available to the Netflix Android TV app for the moment.
Google boosting Android TV effort
Google made an announcement at the start of the year regarding many first-time Android TV partners along with new models from existing companies like Sony. There are several televisions hitting the market, including an affordable 4K set from RCA. Xiaomi too announced a slim 4K streaming box during Google I/O. Xiaomi’s box will most likely be affordable and possibly be available in the U.S.
Google has made an effort to win over people’s television with Android TV, but not much is known about its progress. Google had its hardware going in two different directions. It has been successful at selling the Chromecast and spurred a second iteration as well. It also recently launched its Nexus Player.
Short-term headwinds for Netflix
A number of challenges are facing Netflix, but analysts believe the company’s long-term momentum should set them all off. Headwinds such as the Rio Olympics in August will divert attention for a time, and the company faces tougher year-over-year comparisons and the “un-grandfathering” of the $7.99 plan in the second half of the year, according to Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali.
On Thursday, Netflix shares closed up 1.83% at $91.66. Year to date, the stock is down by over 21%, while in the last year, it is down by over 2%.