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Free Netflix iPad App Available From App Store

We’d gotten wind of the Netflix iPad app earlier this morning, but when it wasn’t included in the first batch of apps to hit the App Store we just assumed it was coming on Saturday — or possibly even later. But fear not, movie fans: it’s just gone live in the App Store, complete with screenshot confirmation that it’ll do streaming video. That’s a huge win for Apple and the iPad, given the restrictions on mobile devices Netflix has traditionally operated under — remember, Microsoft was only allowed to say the Windows Phone 7 Series Netflix app was a “prototype” when it was demoed at MIX.

Assuming you’re a Netflix member, the new iPad app lets you watch as many movies as you want (assuming they’re available on Netflix’s Watch Instantly service) streaming to the device. Yes, this gives you access to some 20,000+ movies and television shows. You can also browse movies and manage your queue from the app. And you can even pick up watching them from where you left off on your TV or computer.

And since the iPad is currently WiFi-only, you don’t have to worry about streaming over 3G, so performance should be good. It will be interesting to see what happens with this app when the WiFi + 3G models of the iPad hit later this month.

Btw, Netflix has also confirmed today that it will launch a version of its mobile app for the iPhone and iPod touch.