Netflix is currently not available for Android phones, and while a version is being developed, it likely will not work on current Android phones. While Netflix is available for Windows Phone 7, the iPhone, and iPad, it is not available for Android because of issues the company says exists with Digital Rights Management (DRM) on Android. If you want to watch video on an Android phone you will find a few options such as YouTube and MovieVault, which is a $1.99 app just recently released.
MovieVault has over 1,000 classic movies available for streaming to Android phones, and it is also available for Windows Phone 7, iPhone, iPad, and Roku. The company has just submitted the iPhone and iPad app so it may not yet appear in the iTunes App Store.
When you first start MovieVault on Android you see the Genre list, which you tap to see the list of movies for that Genre as shown in the screenshot. Each movie has a detail screen that includes the year the film was released along with a synopsis from IMDb. You can either play the movie or add it to a queue of movies that you want to watch.
Movie playback is only in landscape and uses the entire screen of the phone. Many of the movies in MovieVault are in black and white and have a lot of the artifacts common to movies recorded in the ’50s and ’60s. Obviously, the movie playback is not in the vibrant colors and high definition that we are used to, but still play very well on small smartphone screens.
My main complaint with MovieVault is that its search is not very good. For example, I did a search on John Wayne and the search did not return any results even though I see movies with John Wayne when I browse the westerns genre. Apparently search only works on movie titles. I would also like to see MovieVault add caching capabilities to download movies to a phone so that they can be played in situations like while flying where an Internet connection is not available. I also think the developers could add social networking capabilities to share what movies one is watching with friends on Facebook or Twitter.
Keep in mind that MovieVault, like all streaming media apps, can download a significant amount of data that could go against any caps that may exist with your data service. Playback via WiFi is optimal, but I found playback to be pretty good over the T-Mobile 3G connection that I used. If you like watching movies, for the $1.99 price and access to a large library of classic movies, I think MovieVault is a good app to add to your phone.