We're rash to say something as small as a single app could be a game changer, but the recent rumors of Apple having a Netflix app ready to launch on day one for the iPad are certainly getting our attention.
Links from what appear to be Apple's own servers show two images that certainly look like Netflix on the iPad. The app will let you manage your movie queue as well as stream Netflix on Demand movies. It also could be the first of many apps that could unleash the iPad from the shackles of iTunes Store content.
On the iPad's screen, movies should look great. This also makes us wonder if this means a Netflix app for the iPhone and iPod Touch is imminent.
This news is joined with reports that CBS and ABC are launching an iPad-optimized Web site and app respectively for viewing ad-supported full TV episodes. Could NBC and Hulu follow shortly? A leaked reported list of apps is worth reading, if you're curious.
One chief feature of Netbooks, and any laptop, that stands as an advantage over a more closed device such as the iPad is its capability to run Flash. We care about Flash, and other plug-ins, because they're generally the gateway to streaming video on the Web. But if Apple successfully bypasses this requirement with HTML5 and new apps such as Netflix, the argument over Flash support could become moot sooner than later.
Does it matter to you? Would the capability to watch free or subscription-based video content on an iPad make it a much more appealing purchase? We'll find out more soon enough: the iPad goes on sale in less than two days.