Another Freebie: FlixRoulette for Netflix!

1 minute read

One request I frequently got when creating FlixRatings for Netflix was the ability to “shuffle” your favorite show on the Netflix application for iOS. It was an interesting idea, and I knew it was something I could easily implement since I had already conducted a lot of research on the inner-workings of the Netflix app.

Adding a button to the UI initially I thought would be very simple. First I was able to inject a custom view into the bar of buttons that already exist when viewing the description of a movie/show. It started as a simple, gray button that worked as a placeholder. A few hours later I was able to find the data model object which included all of the specific identifiers for all of the shows for a given title. Simply calling a few random number generators made it easy enough to just pick a random one!

Going back to the UI proved to be a bit of a challenge. wanted it to look native, so I picked an icon and settled on the “Shuffle” text. Getting everything lined up with the other icons that already exist took a lot more effort than I had initially imagined. In summary, Netflix is using a UIStackView, which is a newer UIKit object that I wasn’t familiar with. Well, it was introduced in iOS 9, but I haven’t done enough iOS development in recent years to ever come across it or use it in my workflow.

Overall it was a fun challenge, and it was a great way to really learn how UIStackView objects behave.

Feel free to comment on this release on the Reddit release post here.

Alternatively, grab it directly from the BigBoss repository using your favorite package manager.