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Netflix might let you use an iPhone to control games on your TV

Netflix might let you use an iPhone to control games on your TV


A string discovered in the iOS app’s code references using your phone as a game controller.

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An illustration of the Netflix logo.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix is working on a feature that would let you use your iPhone to control games on your TV, according a new report from Bloomberg and code shared by MacRumors contributing writer Steve Moser. Netflix recently said that it wants to make its games “playable on every Netflix device that you have,” and being able to use your iPhone to play TV games could be one way to help with that mission.

According to Moser, the iOS app apparently contains code that says: “A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?”

Netflix first launched its mobile games service in late 2021, and said earlier this month that it has released 55 games so far with 40 more set to come out this year. But those games are only playable on iOS and Android devices — they’re not available on screens like TVs or laptops. Using your phone as a controller would be a way Netflix gets around having to release a dedicated game controller of its own, like Google did for its now-defunct Stadia service. Netflix also said this month that work on a cloud gaming service is “underway” after the company first announced it was “seriously exploring” the project in 2022, and perhaps you’ll be able to use your phone to control cloud games from that service.

Netflix spokesperson Chrissy Kelleher declined to comment.