Netflix launches offline viewing for smartphones and tablets
Finally, the wait for Netflix members is over! Netflix on Wednesday announced that select movies and shows are now available for download any time at no extra cost. The streaming media company confirmed in a tweet that members can now download their favourite programs instead of streaming through a broadband connection.
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
“Netflix members worldwide can now download in addition to stream great series and films at no extra cost,” Eddy Wu, director of product innovation, said in an announcement. “While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited. Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection.”
While Netflix did not provide information on how much content would be available offline, but it said that it was in discussion with copyright owners.
“Netflix is working with lots of partners globally to get downloading rights for the bulk of the content on our service,” a statement emailed to CNNMoney said.
“This is an ongoing effort as we know consumers want this capability and we are working to provide it.”
Currently, Originals Orange is The New Black, Narcos, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and The Crown, as well as popular shows like Bates Motel, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Suits, are available for offline playback via download. There are also plenty of popular non-Netflix shows like Parks and Recreation, The Office and Star Trek: The Next Generation. However, you cannot download everything. Shows like the new season of Friends, Gilmore Girls, and New Girl are restricted for now.
This is why Netflix now has an entire “Available for Download” section on its app so you can specifically browse content that can be watched without an Internet connection. The company plans to add more to the catalogue of available titles in the future.
“Many of your favourite streaming series and movies are already available for download, with more on the way, so there is plenty of content available for those times when you’re offline,” Wu added.
The new added feature comes free of cost with all Netflix memberships. However, the feature is available only on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, provided they are running iOS 8.0 or Android 4.4.2 or later as well as the latest update of Netflix’s app.
For more than a year now, Amazon Prime Video has been offering offline viewing to members on iOS and Android apps, while YouTube Red subscribers also have access to videos in offline mode.
Here’s what you need to do watch show or movie offline on Netflix:
• Select the show or movie you want to download on the Netflix app.
• Scroll down and look for the “download” icon, an arrow pointed down. For a TV show, it will be placed next to the specific episode. For a movie, it will be located right under the plot description and cast.
• Tap the download button. On the bottom of the screen, a progress bar will pop up that will inform you when the download is complete.
• Now, just return to the app while you are offline and watch that movie or show without an Internet connection. Ensure that you have everything loaded up on your phone before you lose your connection.