Mobile Manager for Netflix

A few weeks ago at the Consumer Electronics Show(CES), Steve Ballmer talked about the Microsoft vision for connected experiences that extend across the three main screens people use every day. Specifically, PCs, mobile devices, and TVs. As part of that discussion Robbie Bach showed a demo of a Windows Mobile Netflix application that would allow users to update their movie queues from their phone. Well, as of today, the application is available for download (desktop/mobile) and in fact does more than just let you update your queue. The first official Netflix application for Windows Mobile phones, this app makes it simple to manage a Netflix experience from your mobile device. Leveraging the Netflix API, but with some exclusive extensions, I think Mobile Manager for Netflix is a great example of an on-device application that interfaces seamlessly with a web service.

I’ve been playing with the application for about a week now and I thought I’d highlight the two scenarios that impressed me the most. Let’s start with this past Sunday after the Super Bowl, when a new episode of The Office was aired. I’d seen a couple episodes of the show previously, but I honestly hadn’t ever followed it closely. After the first few minutes I came to the conclusion that it was definitely a show I’d like to see more of. Being lazy and full of Super Bowl snacks, I decided to give the Netflix application a try from the comfort of my couch rather then hike upstairs to my computer. The application started up with a simple login screen that accepted my regular Netflix credentials and once signed in it was easy to start a search.


As you can see below, my search on “The Office” came back with 20 results and what I wanted was right at the top.


Though you can add items to your queue using the Menu softkey, I clicked on “The Office: Season 1” to get more details. The details screen provided a lot of useful information, including a synopsis and the fact that The Office could be added to the Instant queue. As a huge fan of watching instant Netflix content through my Xbox, it was great to see that I wouldn’t have to wait for a DVD in the mail. Deciding to give it a try, I added the first couple seasons to my Instant queue and moved them to the top of my list.


From that point, it was just a matter of starting up my Xbox and navigating to the Netflix blade. Below you can see a picture of my Instant queue on the phone and on the Xbox. I personally really liked how easy it was to be watching TV, add something to my Instant queue from my phone, and then transition to watching it on my TV using my Xbox.


Moving on though, let’s take a look at the second scenario I encountered, which highlights one of the remaining features of this application. Even though I’ve seen it before, I recently found myself wanting to watch The Dark Knight again. Since I wasn’t in any particular hurry to watch it, I figured I’d add it to my regular Netflix DVD queue. Opening up the search screen, I again found what I wanted on the first try.


Clicking on “The Dark Knight”, I was able to see the same type of details screen I saw with The Office. However, when I took the time to scroll down I noticed that there was in fact an option that I hadn’t noticed previously.


As you reach the bottom of the movie synopsis, you’ll see the one feature that really differentiates this application from any other Netflix application. Specifically, the ability to see a preview of the movie before you add it to your queue. Clicking on the See Preview button, a new window opens and buffers a video clip. I didn’t time it, but in a reasonable period of time I was able to watch the trailer for The Dark Knight right on my phone.


Even though I didn’t need the trailer to know I wanted to add this particular movie, it was still fun to be able to watch it from my phone. It played well and the feature will definitely be helpful in the future with films I’m not as familiar with. I know I went over things quickly, but hopefully this post has given you a good idea of what this app can do. If you’re a Netflix and Windows Mobile user, take some time and try it for yourself.


There’s also a video of this application in action over at It doesn’t show the Xbox portion of things, but it is a good short demo.

Comments (55)

  1. Kyle says:

    Hey this software is great.  Could you perhaps elaborate on why I am required to download this application on my desktop and there is not a mobile download link?  Am I just missing the link?

    I think part of the reason that the iPhone/Android have become so popular is that there is a central repository for applications that are all downloaded via the phone.  If I download for Windows Mobile I have to tether to my PC, follow a clunky setup process which may be too advanced for some simple users, etc.

    Sorry, not trying to critisize, just looking for some enlightenment on why a mobile application download is not provided.



  2. Joshuapa says:

    Hi Kyle,

    There is in fact a mobile download link. My apologies for not providing it within the post. I’ll make a quick update so it’s visible there, but as an fyi the mobile link for the Total Access site is

    Hope that helps,


  3. segadc says:

    You can go to via your device.

    Click on Total Access then Software.  Mobile Manager will be on the top of the list.

  4. pocketDragon says:

    Actually I’m suprised there was not a microsoft TAG pointing to the download. Even if there is not an offical one on the main netfilx page, you should make one and post it here. (And really there should be one for every total access mobile download.  Really.)

  5. segadc says:

    Yeah that would of been cool!

    I am loving this software.  Can we please get an Xbox app since both iPhone and G1 already have one.  Thanks. 😉

  6. beanie says:

    You added a preview function to watch a trailer.  Are you planning to add the ability to watch Netflix on Windows Mobile devices?  Mobile Netflix is the next logical step since you can stream Netflix to PC and Xbox.

  7. Ted Howard says:

    Fantastic work. Please keep adding value to Windows through these partnerships. "Better Together" doesn’t have to be just an internally-focused thing.

  8. tmv says:

    I’m not getting sound on the trailers.

  9. tmv says:

    It was my bad.  Got sound now.  I wish I can watch the entire movie instead of just the trailer.

  10. JohnCz says:

    I recommend you showcase applications on larger & higher resolution devices.

    One thing I’d like to see with this application…support for Live ID.

  11. Kevin Murray says:

    I have found a bug, where can I report this?



  12. Joshuapa says:

    Hi Kevin,

    You can report it right here and we’ll make sure it gets routed to the appropriate people. What have you noticed?



  13. Marc says:

    I’m sure this is great software, but jumping through all the registration hoops is just a bit much and I don’t want the newsletters that it forces on you without hint of how to not subscrube:

    Notice: Submission of this form includes an automatic subscription to the Microsoft e-newsletter "Windows Mobile News". No additional sign-up is required.

  14. lenin says:

    descarge el programa a mi equipo pero me pide el nombre y la cotraseña donde me registro

  15. David Devoucoux says:

    Downloaded the Mobile Manager for Netflix to my samsung sch-i760. Installed fine. Turned on wi-fi, went to the internet. Opened program. Put in my Netflix ID and password. Logged in. Went to search for a movie and got an error message that my session had timed out. I needed to log in again. Did so…same message. Uninstalled program and re-installed. Same issue.




  16. David Devoucoux says:

    Downloaded the Mobile Manager for Netflix to my samsung sch-i760. Installed fine. Turned on wi-fi, went to the internet. Opened program. Put in my Netflix ID and password. Logged in. Went to search for a movie and got an error message that my session had timed out. I needed to log in again. Did so…same message. Uninstalled program and re-installed. Same issue.




  17. David Devoucoux says:

    sorry for the multiple posts….got a trigger fingers this evening!


  18. Brian says:

    I am receiving the same error on a PPC6800, I am able to login and then when I try to click on the "My Queue" and it shows my list. If I then try to select one sometimes it will show and sometimes it will say "Sorry, your login settings expired. You need to relogin to use Netflix services."  

  19. Warren says:

    I have a Sprint Touch Pro and now I’m also having the same error when I login "Sorry, your login setting expired. You need to relogin to use Netflix services"  I suppose the servers are having a problem… but it’s really annoying!  I thought my device was messed up since I recentled updated my ROM.

  20. Eddie says:

    I’m having the same issue.  Tells me my login settings have expired, so I re-enter them but either it fails the login attempt or when I click on my queue I get the same error.

    It’s a shame, this had become my primary method of editing my queue.  It was nice being able to add movies to my queue no matter where I was.

  21. Sean says:

    Same issue, I am constantly prompted to re-login.  I am using an HTC Touch Pro.  I am doing this over my wi-fi adapter.  It has become an unusable application at this point.

  22. Warren says:

    I hope your paying attention Microsoft, your proggie is busted!  How about a response and a fix…. please.

  23. Darren says:

    Same "Login expired…" error here.  

  24. patrick says:

    I installed it on my I91o and it worked great for some time, then in the last week I am getting the same "timed out" error message. where, whens the fix? I use this every week!

  25. SM says:

    Same bug here.  This is the exact message I receive:

    "Sorry, your login settings expired.  You need to relogin to use Netflix services."

    Most times I can get to the main account screen (where it shows the buttons for "My Queue" and "Search"), and I very rarely I reach my queue without getting the above quoted message.  Doing anything else, such as searching is definitely not working.

    It looks like a lot of people have been getting this error in the past 2 days or so.  Perhaps it’s related to a network issue on Microsoft or Netflix’s end?  Does this program connect directly to Netflix, or is there a Microsoft proxy in the middle?  I started using it about 4 days ago and it worked great until about 3/23/2009.  Being out and about and being able to add movies to my queue was awesome.  Unfortunately, at the moment, this program is basically useless.

  26. Joel says:

    Me too. All week I’ve been getting the "Sorry, your login settings expired. You need to relogin to use Netflix services." Then when I try to login again, it says "Sign in Failed".

    I’m on a Sprint Moto Q9c.

    I guess I feel better that it’s not just me. I thought my phone was corrupted! At least the regular Netflix website is working.

  27. winmoguy says:

    Same issue.  I had it on my Sprint PPC6800 and it worked great then I got my new Touch Pro and now I have the relogin issue.  I thought it was the new phone but it seems like it is just the service that is down.

    I hope they fix it soon.

  28. Jeff says:

    I’m having the same "login expired issue" on my Sprint Touch Pro. Hoping for an answer soon since this was a really useful app. If it really is a service issue then it seems like poor design to me since there should be no reason why a client app like this should depend on a 3rd party service to be up and running.

  29. Miguel says:

    Same issue here with my XV6800. "login settings expired"

    Hope there is a fix soon!

  30. Sean Fuller says:

    Me also. For last couple of days I’ve been getting the "Sorry, your login settings expired. You need to relogin to use Netflix services." Then when I try to login again, it says "Sign in Failed".

    I’ve been using it for a couple of months and love it!

    I have a Pantech Duo C810.

    Please fix this ASAP!


  31. jim says:

    Anyone call netflix, no way to email them and I’m to lazy to call to explain the error.

    "Sorry, your login settings expired. You need to relogin to use Netflix services."

  32. David Devoucoux says:

    I called Netflix and support didn’t know there was a mobile netflix manager program available for download!

    They suggested it was a Microsoft problem.



  33. David Devoucoux says:

    Glad it’s not my phone or installation…..

    Now we wait and see….


  34. Joshuapa says:

    I just wanted to let you all know that I’ve seen the same thing and I’ve contacted the appropriate people here at Microsoft. They are investigating the issue and should have a fix shortly. When I have more details I’ll be sure to let you know.

    Thanks for your feedback and patience,


  35. Warren says:

    Thanks for the update Joshua.  Now we wait.

  36. William says:

    Well, I just downloaded it and tried it for the first time. Moto Q.

    I am reassured to hear that it actually had worked at one time, I suppose.

  37. Warren says:

    Hey Joshua, while we have your attention…. tell the team that worked on this client to give us the ability to rate films and not only see our ratings in version 2.0 Whenever that comes out.

    First thing first, get the client back up and running.

  38. Andreas Schiffler says:

    Got the same "timeout" issue here as well, plus some more usability issues:

    – When signing in again, the app does remember the username, but not remember the password (fine with me). It should offer to remember the password for easier repeat-access.

    – When signing in comes up with a message box about "You are in roaming. Working with online services may lead to additional charges …" Yes/No – I am signed into my home Wifi network, so this is a Bogus message.

    – When signing in again, I get the same Yes/No message.

    Otherwise, very cool app.

  39. Mike Ward says:

    I was going to complain that today when I logged in on my HTC Fuze, I recieved the same error as everyone else but I hope that since the error has gotten reported to the correct people it will be a quick fix and hopefully a extra nice feature to go along with it.. =]

  40. Mike says:

    I have Verizon XV6800. Same issues with login timeout. I seem to be able to login, do something (like search, etc), then when I go "back" and try and do anything else, I get a timeout. After this, if I attempt to re-login, it says login failed. Every time.

  41. Greg S. says:

    Same problem here, HTC Touch Pro, though I assume the type of phone makes no difference.  

    Has Netflix changed something about their authentication procedure that prevents the app from keeping an active session?

  42. Warren says:

    Heads up for those of us having problems with the Netflix Mobile Manager client, Microsoft just posted an update on the Total Access website – version is available for download now.

    So far it has corrected the timeout errors.

    Great job team Microsoft!

  43. SM says:

    I can confirm that the new release is indeed working.  Awesome job!

  44. Joshuapa says:

    Thank you all for your patience, as mentioned above a new version of the Mobila Manager for Netflix application is available at Total Access. For those of you with the application installed already, you can get the updated version from Total Access, but you should be prompted to download the new version as an over the air update the next time you launch the client. This new version should fix the issues you’ve all been seeing.

    If you have any further problems, please let us know.


  45. Jose says:

    Will this work with a BlackBerry Storm????

  46. Robert says:

    Just downloaded this today, and get a "Sign In Failed" message on every login attempt.  Double checked my username and password and still got the same… Several folks over at (where this was reported on today) experienced the same problem with known good username/passwords.

  47. I’m also interested as to whether this will work with a Blackberry storm, my fiance has one and would love to utilize this!

  48. Bean says:

    Yep, I’m with Robert .. "Sign In Failed" seems to be coming up for some reason.  I’ve also been having other issue’s with complex passwords through the mobile.

    That said, I doubt it’s a problem with the Netflix app.

  49. Michael Dowdie says:

    Well, I was excited to find this app.  But, after getting it installed, every time I try to sign in, I get "Failed to connect to the internet".  I’ve tried this using AT&T data connection and WiFi.

  50. Joshuapa says:

    For those of you experiencing issues, what version of the application are you using? There were some connectivity issues when the application first launched, but they were fixed with version



  51. Jason says:

    All I get is "sign in failed" I have the latest version and I have checked my id and password.

  52. Ed B says:

    All I get is a black screen when I launch on a Samsung Propel Pro. Works on a T-mo Shadow.

  53. noshiro says:

    What the log in screen name? is it the emai addreess  or my name? i keep changing around because i keep getting the "log in failed", then one day i was giving it another shot an it went thru, but i dont remember what i used. now im reformated my cell and i cant log in again. what the problem….please advised…thanks

  54. Andy says:

    New problem:  When I open the application, the page does not load.  I get the "exit" and "sign in" designations for the soft keys, but the screen itself is all black with no login fields visible.

  55. MSDN Archive says:

    The Windows Mobile blog has moved. Comments on this blog will be disabled soon. Let’s continue these discussions on the new site.