Netflix adds useful feature allowing users to stream partially downloaded movies and TV episodes on Android
Netflix will stop making users wait to watch their favourite TV episodes and movies while downloading, by allowing streaming of partially downloaded content. Here’s what you need to know.
Netflix on Monday announced a new feature for its subscribers that would allow them to stream content from movies and TV episodes that have not yet finished downloading on the app. The popular streaming service currently allows users to download content to their mobile and tablet devices to view even when they do not have internet access – or have connectivity that is not ideal for streaming content.
However, until now, Netflix users would not be able to access content that was marked for download until it was completely available offline. This means that if a movie you started downloading 10 minutes ago was 60 percent downloaded, you would have to wait until the download was complete before you could start streaming the movie.
On Monday, the streaming service announced in a blog post that it was improving the download experience to allow users to start watching episodes from their favourite TV series or movies even when it hasn't completed downloading. This will allow users to watch some of the content even though they no longer have access to Wi-Fi or fast internet to download the episode. Once they have access to a good network, they can continue their downloads or simply cancel it if what they've seen so far isn't what they're looking for.
It's easy to see how this could come in handy in certain scenarios. If a Netflix user has spotty internet connectivity and wants to download a movie, they can start the download to prevent any buffering videos, then check the content after a while to see if it's something they want to keep watching. They could then continue downloading or cancel it accordingly. The feature could also come in handy if you only managed to download part of a movie before leaving home, but want to watch some of it anyway, while you're on the go.
Unlike quite a few Netflix features that first arrived on iOS and then made their way to Android (such as the Smart Downloads and the Fast Laughs feature) the newly announced support for viewing partially downloaded content is rolling out to Android devices, while the company says it will begin testing the feature on iOS devices “in the coming months.”