Reader Tony Moon has been having occasional problems with the Netflix app on his iPad. He writes:
I get inconsistent performance from the Netflix app on my iPad. Sometimes it works great, other times I try to launch a movie, the Netflix play screen appears for a second, and then the video window disappears. I have a strong Wi-Fi connection so I don’t think that’s it. Any ideas?
I’ve experienced the same thing and you’re right, it’s not a Wi-Fi issue—I’ve had Netflix play perfectly when I have just a couple of bars and quit when I have a full complement of bars.
I threw the question out to Twitter and the general consensus is that this is a memory issue. If you clear out the inactive cruft in the iPad’s memory, Netflix should perform as expected.
There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to simply restart the iPad. Doing so flushes the iPad’s memory and cleans things up nicely.
Optionally, you can use an app to free up memory. That app is XZone Software’s $2 XSysInfo. Launch it and you see a lot of information about your device arranged in categories including Usage, Processes, Estimated Work Time, Network, Device Identity, and Tech Specs. We’re interested in the Usage pane where you tap an arrow icon to clear out memory. If you tap the Settings icon you have the option to clean memory when you launch the app.
If Netflix is misbehaving and you don’t care to restart your iPad to flush its memory, it’s worth a shot.