Netflix is finally adding a feature that its users have been asking for literally since its conception.
The streaming giant announced Wednesday that they will be Adding Offline Playback as a feature to their mobile app. The new feature has reportedly arrived on the newest Netflix app update for both iOS and Android today. Users will now be able to download movies or TV shows to their devices and stream them without an internet connection. Notably, the feature will also allow you to download content in two different video qualities, depending on whether storage or viewing quality is more important to you.
Airplane mode. Road trip mode. Stuck-in-the-subway-for-20-minutes mode. Your favorite stories are now available for download any time. pic.twitter.com/g7QZA3TyE8
— Netflix US (@netflix) November 30, 2016
As seen in the announcement video, Netflix seems to be focusing on their original TV shows and movies first — which is understandable, given the simpler licensing logistics. But, as of today, there seems to be quite a lot of non-original Netflix content available to download, too, according to TechCrunch. So while every show or movie might not be immediately available, there’s still plenty of content for you to enjoy on-the-go, whether you’re in a plane or a subway train — including Orange is The New Black, Narcos, The Crown, The Office, Dazed and Confused and Minions.
This move is a sharp departure for the company, which the company once said was “never going to happen,” according to a 2014 TechRadar interview with Cliff Edwards, Netflix’s director of corporate communications. In that interview, Edwards called offline playback a “short term fix for a bigger problem” — the lack of proper, high-speed WiFi access.
But even before today’s announcement, Netflix seemed to be changing course on the matter. Earlier this month, the company said it was toying with the idea of adding offline playback to ensure their streaming service could adapt to developing markets that lack high-quality internet infrastructure, Engadget reported. The addition of the feature in developed countries is just confirmation that Netflix has finally warmed up to the idea.
The feature is currently available on the latest versions of the iOS and Android Netflix app for all users running iOS 8 or Android 4.4.2 or later.
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