new netflix

Netflix caused quite a bit of commotion last night when it unveiled its all-new user interface that it’s been testing for the past several months. The new design facilitates easier content discovery and unifies the user experience across platforms.

The updated UI will begin rolling out to smart TVs, Roku boxes, PlayStation consoles and Blu-Ray players today. But there are some devices that won’t be getting the makeover, which Netflix executives are calling the service’s largest to date…

Apple TV users are among those that won’t be getting the Netflix update, as are future Xbox One owners. The reason, as explained by AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka, is because Apple and Microsoft have specific rules on how apps can present content.

“But the reason Netflix can’t overhaul its look for other devices — like Apple’s Apple TVs, and Microsoft’s new Xbox One — is because the device manufacturers have specific rules about the way app developers can present their stuff on their devices.

Apple, for instance, requires all of its developers to hew to a grid design, which is why HBO’s app, ESPN’s app and Netflix’s app all basically look and feel the same. The new Xbox console plays off the “live tiles” Microsoft is using on Windows 8 and its mobile OS.

The Netflix guys are too polite to talk about any of that, of course.”

Here’s what the new interface looks like:

It’s a shame Apple doesn’t give developers more control over how their TV apps display content, but it’s not surprising. The company has always had strict guidelines for iOS developers to keep users secure, and the experience uniform.

Netflix has added new features to its Apple TV app in recent months though, including My List and Profiles. And next year, the service hopes to be a major supplier of streaming 4K (or Ultra HD) video.