It's taken a few months, but now most people who own an Android-based smartphone should be able to access Netflix's streaming video service. On Friday, the company issued a new 1.4 update to its free app on the Android Market that enables all Android 2.2 (Froyo) and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) based smartphones to use the service. That should cover over 80 percent of all Android-based smartphones (there are still some that use the older 2.1 Android OS).
Netflix began offering the Android app back in May but only for a select few smartphones like the HTC Incredible, the HTC Nexus One, the HTC Evo 4G, the HTC G2 and the Samsung Nexus S. At the time of the announcement, Netflix said the reasons were due to the number of different hardware specs for Android phones. Netflix said back in May, "One of these challenges is the lack of standard streaming playback features that the Netflix application can use to gain broad penetration across all available Android phones." However it looks like those technical challenges have now been resolved for the most part.
However, owners of Android-based tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Motorola Xoom and others that use the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system currently cannot access the Netflix application and there's been no indication that Netflix is working on a solution for those products. Google is also expected to release Android 4.0 later this fall. Again there's no word if Netflix is working on an app that will support the next version of the Android OS.