Netflix app drops AirPlay support on iOS, citing support for third-party devices

Netflix says the change is meant to “ensure our standard of quality for viewing is being met.”

Do you enjoy kicking back on the couch and beaming a little Queer Eye from your phone to your TV? Can’t wait for another season of GLOW or Stranger Things this Summer?

Well, you’re going to have to be content with using the Netflix app on your Apple TV, smart TV, the website on your Mac, the app on your game console, or cable box, or any of the other fifty billion ways to watch Netflix, because AirPlay support is officially gone from the iOS app.

Late last week, Netflix removed the ability to use AirPlay without notice or explanation. A support document on the Netflix site simply said, “Airplay is no longer supported for use with Netflix due to technical limitations.”

Now, the streaming giant has come forward with an explanation:

We want to make sure our members have a great Netflix experience on any device they use. With AirPlay support rolling out to third-party devices, there isn’t a way for us to distinguish between devices (what is an Apple TV vs. what isn’t) or certify these experiences.
Therefore, we have decided to discontinue Netflix AirPlay support to ensure our standard of quality for viewing is being met. Members can continue to access Netflix on the built-in app across Apple TV and other devices.

In other words, when using AirPlay, Netflix doesn’t know the exact video or audio capabilities of your AirPlay target. When it only had to worry about a couple of different Apple TV models, that was no big deal. Now that AirPlay is being directly supported by a number of smart TVs with more devices on the way, Netflix can no longer guarantee you’re getting the best quality your device can support.

The impact on you at home: Netflix is probably the most prolific streaming service available. Nearly everything with a screen and an internet connection has a Netflix app. It’s hard to imagine a device that supports AirPlay 2 but does not have a native Netflix app. And of course, Netflix is still available to watch on iOS devices, you just can’t use AirPlay anymore. So you won’t miss out on any of your shows.

This only impacts people whose Netflix use consists of finding something to watch on their iPhone or iPad, starting it up, then sending it over to their Apple TV (and soon, other smart TVs) with AirPlay. Those users will just have to use the native Netflix app instead.

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Jason Cross

Jason Cross
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