Users of Android version 7.64 or later can start watching the video download in the Netflix mobile app, even if that video has not finished downloading to the device, iOS devices have to wait a little bit longer. Earlier, Netflix users had to complete a download before being able to watch it.
A post in this media company’s newsroom announcing the new feature says it is intended for times when unreliable Wi-Fi or the expiration of a data plan prevents the video from being fully downloaded.
Netflix new feature How it works
If you tried to download a movie from Wi-Fi at home and you had to leave and you got only 70 downloaded percent of the file. You can now at least watch part of the movie while waiting for the opportunity to complete the download. When you re-establish a trusted connection, the download can resume where it left off, even if you’ve started watching the video in the meantime.
You will find partially downloaded videos on the same download tab as all fully downloaded files.
iOS testing starts soon
The feature is currently only available on Android devices, but Netflix VP for product innovation Keela Robison writes that the company will start testing on iOS in the coming months. The download feature has never been available on the PC website, and that remains the case.
This isn’t the first time Android has gained first access to the Netflix mobile app feature. When it introduced Smart Downloads a few years after the release of the basic download feature, that plugin would delete the TV episode after you watched it and automatically downloaded the next one. This feature came to iOS much later. In addition, iOS is delayed by the Downloads For You feature, which automatically downloads content recommended by Netflix based on your previous viewing. Downloads for you are still only available on Android devices, but Netflix says it will soon begin testing the feature on iOS as well.