We love Netflix but the interface of its iPad app is decidedly un-Apple-ish and leaves a lot to be desired. Enter CineTap, an app by Imaginary Spinor that provides an alternate interface to use Netflix on the iPad. The $.99 app hit the App Store over the weekend and promises a “very clean visual interface plus high performance native implementation and intelligent content prefetching/caching” compared to Netflix’s own app.
Watching streamed movies from Netflix still requires the free Netflix app to be installed on your iPad since the Netflix streaming API apparently won’t allow otherwise at this time. When you go to watch a streamed movie CineTap will close and then open the Netflix app, and then Cinetap will re-open on its own when you’re done.
Imaginary Spinor has created a demo video showing how CineTap works:
Of course, CineTap does not circumvent the need for a Netflix account and plan that costs at least $8.99 per month in order to access streaming video content.
When you first open the app, you’ll be prompted to enter your Netflix log-in credentials. If you don’t already have a Netflix account, a handy link on this page brings you to the CineTap site where you can sign up for Netflix, though when we tested the account creation link we saw an error that CineTap’s Netflix affiliate promotion is not yet available.
CineTap allows you to carry out most of the activities possible within Netflix’s own app, including adding and removing movies to and from your DVD and Instant queues, viewing movie descriptions, rating movies, searching, and more.
The one thing we found we could not do is change the order of movies in our DVD queue, so you’ll need to go back to the Netflix app to do this. Imaginary Spinor states that an update to the app is planned for November and they welcome suggestions at email@example.com – the ability to re-arrange our DVD queue would be at the top of our own feature request list for CineTap.
At $.99, CineTap is inexpensive at the moment ($.99 is a special introductory price though Imaginary Spinor has not said what the regular price will be) and if Netflix’s own app drives you a little crazy with its slowness and uninspired navigation, CineTap is an interesting alternative that has potential.