Netflix

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Netflix App Poster Image
Lots of great kids' media but imperfect parent controls.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 30 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Intuitive to use, especially for those with a pre-existing Netflix account. Streaming with Wi-Fi is fairly seamless, but use on the 3G network has been reported to be spotty, with lots of buffering interruptions.

Violence

Allows access to violent movies and TV shows. Movies and shows can be limited by age-appropriateness or blocked on a case-by-case basis via online preferences in your Netflix account.

Sex

Allows access to movies and TV shows with sexual content. Movies and shows can be limited by age-appropriateness via online preferences in your Netflix account or blocked on a case-by-case basis.

Language

Allows access to movies and TV shows with language that may be inappropriate for your family. Movies and shows can be limited by age-appropriateness or blocked on a case-by-case basis via online preferences in your Netflix account.

Consumerism

Allows movies and content that may be consumer in nature, including documentaries about brands and products and programs that promote a consumer lifestyle.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Allows access to movies that may contain drinking, drugs, and smoking. Movies and shows can be filtered by age-appropriateness through the preferences in your online Netflix account.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the Netflix app allows users with a Netflix account to watch streaming movies and TV shows on a mobile device. Parents can limit access to content through a PIN number (set online) that they'll need to enter any time someone tries to access blocked content. They can adjust limits on a profile based on rating and can also block other titles individually. Some controversial shows may not have warnings posted before the start of each episode, so users can stumble into intense or emotionally challenging content unwittingly. There's no way to adjust accessible content or any other settings using the app -- it's all done online. Each family member (with up to five members) can have his or her own profile with a set age, favorites, social media links, and histories. There are no passwords on the profiles, so kids can easily change to a different one without parental consent. Families using a mobile network to connect should make sure their data plan is unlimited, though it's possible to download limited content to a device. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared. Netflix is one of Common Sense Media's paying content partners, but its app was reviewed by an independent writer.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 and 4 year old Written bylaribrook February 9, 2011

No child safety features. Use Caution.

The Netflix app is really only good for one thing - convenience... if you're sitting in the dr.s office you can let your child watch a bit of a show or som... Continue reading
Parent of a 12 year old Written bydiaryofamommy January 7, 2012

Great films mixed in with iffy content.

Some great documentaries and family films are on here, but there are also films with swearing and violence, Take caution, set parental controls, and use the Jus... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bychriz123 April 25, 2011

if u have netflix go ahead and get this

welll...its a awesome app ...wut u use it for is up to you if yer kid knows wut they can and cant watch its fine plus they have parental settings so id say its... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old December 6, 2010

Its great on a cpu but not a mobile app

I have it. Best for a computer, but apps dont work as well. Just dont let your kids watch r rated movies have them say what they are gonna watch and make sure t... Continue reading

What's it about?

The NETFLIX app allows you to stream titles on a mobile device via your existing Netflix account using Wi-Fi or a mobile network. Though the app doesn't allow settings adjustment, parents can set filters on the website and create up to five user profiles with age-appropriate settings. There are no passwords or locks on separate user accounts, but parents can set a PIN that blocks access to mature content. Parental controls use four general categories: Little Kids, Older Kids, Teens, and Adults. Little Kids can access TV-Y content, whereas older kids can access up to PG movies and TV-PG content. Teens go up to PG-13 movies and TV-14 content. Parents can also block specific titles that may not have been caught in the ratings filter or that may be specifically objectionable to their family. With a few exceptions (such as the warning cards at the start of episodes of 13 Reasons Why), there aren't any other advisory details provided at the beginning of shows that could have challenging content. Parents can make a "Kid" profile that will send a child into a special child-friendly area. The parental controls determine whether the area is a "Little Kid" or an "Older Kid" space, but either way it has a simpler interface and no access to listings by genre. For teens and adults, the app has revised genre listings, with several categories missing, including Music & Musicals, Faith & Spirituality, and Gay & Lesbian. Movies and shows in these categories are still accessible by search but you can't browse them by category.

Is it any good?

This app version of the popular video streamer is a convenient way to access your account and the content it provides wherever you have access to a Wi-Fi or mobile network. The interface is simple to use, and the picture and sound quality are usually quite good on a Wi-Fi network, though mobile quality has been reported to be spotty, with lots of buffering interruptions. Given the portability of mobile devices, it can be tricky to keep an eye on what kids with access to mobile devices are watching, and the lack of password protection on profiles (or for exiting a Kid profile) is a major flaw. The universal PIN is the best safeguard, but it's a bit of a hassle to enter it whenever you want to watch something outside the set age range. Parents can access a list of recently viewed programs and movies using a Web browser if they want to verify what their kids have been watching. The lack of fine control over content accessibility may be challenging for parents whose kids are transitioning from "Little Kids" to "Older Kids," since there's a vast difference between a TV-Y show and a PG movie, although Netflix seems to have done a bit of extra filtering, especially on movies made before a PG-13 rating was available. The ability to ban certain titles helps, but it's a tedious option when there are a lot of movies involved, especially since the list is likely to change over time. It's important to note that additional warnings and filtering may occur, given the recent discussions and concerns surrounding the recently released series 13 Reasons Why. So while the parent controls help, and there's lots of great content, it'll still take parental oversight to make sure your kid doesn't exit their own profile and go roaming.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the meaning of "age-appropriate" when kids access Netflix. Why are certain movies or shows OK for one family member but not another?

  • Talk about rules and expectations. What are movie ratings? Which ratings are OK for each family member? What are the rules about using different profiles?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Subscription price: Requires a minimum $8.99/month Netflix subscription
  • Release date: August 26, 2010
  • Category: Entertainment
  • Publisher: Netflix, Inc.
  • Version: 1.1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: OS 3.1.3 or later, Android 2.2 and up

For kids who love entertainment for all ages

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