Netflix has come up with a new partial downloads feature for its audience. This feature enables its Android users to watch partially downloaded shows, up until the point it has been downloaded. Though it’s a small modification in its service, it does seem like it is going to make a huge change. Earlier, before the introduction of this feature, partially downloaded content could not be viewed offline until the download was complete. This feature was however announced by Netflix, way back in the year 2016. The main motive behind this was to enable offline streaming while in flight, on the bus or train, or in areas with limited connectivity. Though it came out so much later than when it was promised, it is still useful.
This partial downloads feature has definitely taken the downloads feature offered by Netflix, up a notch. The users can now watch content that hasn’t been completely downloaded. This way, they can just catch up with the entire series later, once the downloading is done, or when they regain access to the internet. This does improve the experience of the Streaming Giant’s users. “We’ve improved the Netflix download experience so you can now start watching The Mitchells vs The Machines or the next episode of Luis Miguel – The Series even if it hasn’t completed downloading. Once you’ve regained a strong enough connection, you can choose to finish the download and keep watching — avoiding those surprise notices that you’ve gone over your data limits,” Netflix explains in a blog post.
As mentioned before, this feature is presently only available to be used by users on Android phones and tablets. This doesn’t however mean that iOS users won’t be getting it. The company has plans for introducing the feature for them as well and will be starting testing on iOS devices in the coming months. In February this year, Netflix introduced a new ‘Download For You‘ feature broadening its Smart Downloads experience. The company uses an algorithm through which it understands what a particular user likes and studying this, their system automatically downloads movies and TV shows that you might like, to help you in situations where you find yourself stuck without Internet access or in a long wait like the evening commute. Previously, Netflix Smart Downloads would automatically delete the episodes you’ve watched and download the next episode of said TV series.