Tips for Netflix on the XBoxOne

You’ve been able to access subscription apps like Netflix without the need for an Xbox Gold account for some time now. Here’s a few tips to help you make the most of your Netflix experience on Xbox One.

When the interface was updated on Xbox One in 2015 for Netflix a lot of people were unhappy; myself included. While the original app may not have been pretty, you could navigate it almost entirely using voice and it had a familiar format to the Apple TV UI or the iPad app. Now, voice control is gone entirely for navigation, and clear navigation through genre categories has been replaced with a dashboard that spits out recommendations; a bizarre choice as Netflix had reportedly stopped using their recommendation engine several years ago, rating a title does not provide you with suggestions as it once did.

These are things I’ve discovered during the frustrating times with Netflix on Xbox One.

Pin a title to your dashboard

Most of the time Netflix is serving up trash. When the big hitters come round; Daredevil, Bojack Horseman, Narcos, Master of None, all you really want is to just hit the play button. Well you can.

With any title selected you can click the Options button on your controller and you can select Pin to home. It will now be available as a shortcut so you don’t have to open the Netflix app first.

I just want to watch X

The worst part of the UI is that there’s a chance you have a list you’ve built up of things to watch; undoubtedly through another device. Sometimes you just want a list of comedies, or thrillers, or maybe you want to see what they have with Tom Hanks in it. All of these things were easy to do before, now they’re hidden but not lost!

Hold down on the D-pad and the last row (yes the last row) in the UI contains the search, settings, and genre navigation items.

What makes it that little more annoying is that when you go into any of the genre lists the UI completely changes again now presented as a non-side-scrolling list but just whatever fits on the screen and you scroll downward. You can’t get back to the genre options using the back (b) button so don’t do that or you’ll be back to square one, but you can scroll left and select the back button.

Are you still watching?

Netflix don’t want you to miss a thing. That’s why as part of most of their apps they introduced the continue watching¬†function where the autoplay stops to check-in and see if you’re still paying attention. Whilst this feature is damn smart, it can be annoying when you’ve just hit that cliff hanger moment and just want to hit straight to the next episode.

You can still use Kinect on Netflix even though for the most part, the app navigation has been completely removed since 2014. Use the command “Xbox Play” to carry on when you see the continue watching button.

Published by

Andy Parker

User Experience Designer, headbanger, biker, skater, gamer from Brighton UK.