On the heels of its earning announcements in which it saw a significant jump in users, Netflix
has updated its iOS app (free) to version 4.0 with various improvements in episode selection, audio and subtitle selection and various bug fixes. The iPad gets a new episode chooser to make finding specific episodes of a TV show easier, while both the iPhone and iPad versions gain a redesigned audio and subtitle options selector. Alongside the update, Netflix announced it would begin offering a $12 per month "family plan," with up to four simultaneous streams.
The company is expecting to hit 30 million users
sometime in the current quarter, outpacing the viewership of most cable networks. The service now accounts for a third of all Internet downstream traffic in the US, also outpacing rivals such as Amazon, iTunes and even YouTube.
The use of mobile apps for streaming programs has increased even as the company's original DVD-rental business has decreased. Netflix is now offered on most set-top boxes, including Apple TV and Xbox among others.
The $12 "family plan" will add the ability for users to register up to four devices (including iOS that will be able to stream video from one account simultaneously, a doubling of the current limit. Users interested in the plan should note, however, that the increased fee does not provide for the increase in bandwidth from the user's service provider, which may charge more for those who exceed allotted caps.