Netflix has announced the release of a new feature that allows Android users to watch shows and movies that have not yet finished downloading.
This means Android users (mobiles and tablets) will now be able to stream Netflix shows and movies before the download is completed.
Users can start watching part of a movie or TV series, operas or other episodes they are downloading even though the download may have just started and is yet to complete.
Previously, Netflix didn’t allow users to view a movie while downloading. The movie needed to have been completely downloaded on subscribers’ devices before they could view it.
Netflix said it launched the new feature to allow its users still enjoy part of what they have downloaded despite poor connectivity.
It said most times, downloading videos and shows on Netflix can be really frustrating for the viewers as they have to wait many hours for the video to download fully. Sometimes also, the internet connectivity may be very weak or the video could be buffering.
Imagine being on transit from Lagos to Enugu and you want to watch a new TV series on your phone. Assuming you started downloading the series and it is at 50% download while in Ore but just a mile after, you lose internet connectivity.
Well, Netflix says you don’t have to worry as the new feature allows you to watch the part of the clip you have downloaded while you could complete the download when you get strong network, say at Asaba in Delta state. Its as simple as that.
Meanwhile, Netflix said iOS users cannot enjoy the new feature yet as it is not available to them. However, it said iOS users will have a taste of it when it begins testing the feature on iOS in the coming month.
Moreover, the feature would now be available to Android users on both mobile and tablet devices with versions 7.64 and higher.
Netflix releases ‘Download for you’ feature for Android
Earlier this year, Netflix announced the ‘Download for you’ feature for Android users. The feature enables auto-downloads of recommended titles based on the previous watch.
However, to use the feature, users need to opt-in for more download space. Then set how much space they need to use for downloading.
So Android users can get a personalised auto-download from their watch history.
The limitation to the feature is that some movies have licensed restrictions, so that some downloads are limited.
Netflix has also added that the partially video downloading feature billed to be out for iOS will first be available for testing in Beta.
Netflix releases ‘Smart download’ for iOS
However, iOS users have not been completely left out from download updates on Netflix.
In 2019, Netflix launched a smart download update that enables iOS users to download the next episode of a series they are watching after the previous one is done.
This, though, came a year after it launched the Feature on Android.
The feature also automatically deletes previously downloaded episodes as users watch them. And then download the coming episodes when a user is connected to a Wi-Fi or data plan.
This saves users the stress of going back to delete videos they had watched and allow them to watch new episodes faster.
Also, it would lessen the amount of space used on any device and make space to occupy new videos.
Conversely, Android users only have to continue watching the series from the ‘continue watching section’ or from the download menu on their Android devices.
Netflix has given users the choice to toggle the feature by turning it off and on from the download settings.
The updates show the platform is frequently looking to improve its offline watching options to give its users the best streaming experience amongst other competitors.
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