You’re at the airport downloading the movie on Netflix that you want to watch for your flight. You need to board but the video is only 60% finished. Previously, you wouldn’t be able to watch it since the download wasn’t completed. But now, finally, Netflix will let you watch any partially downloaded video on your Android smartphone or tablet. This is a much-requested adjustment to the downloads feature that was introduced back in 2016 and finally, you will be able to do so.
Long commutes and flights can be made more bearable by watching or re-watching a movie or TV show. But of course you wouldn’t want to eat up all of your phone’s data allocation by using it up to stream videos. That’s why the offline download feature was an important thing for Netflix users so they can “stock up” on videos to watch later while they’re still connected to stable WiFi. But an uncompleted download cannot be watched and that can sometimes be inconvenient.
Now you will be able to watch that movie or episode that you wanted to watch but wasn’t able to complete downloading. You will be able to watch the partially downloaded video up to the part where it has been downloaded. Then you can continue downloading or just continue streaming and eventually finishing it once you get a more stable Internet connection. This means that even if you have downloaded 5% of a video, you can still watch but only up to a few minutes.
Earlier this year, Netflix also introduced “Download for You” to its Smart Downloads feature. It uses the algorithm to automatically download movies and TV shows that it thinks you’ll like so you will have something to watch when you need to and you’re without internet access. Well, if you have space on your device of course. Previously smart downloads would just download the next episode of a TV show you’re watching but this way, you will be “surprised” with whatever it chooses to download for you.
Partial downloading is now available for the Netflix app on Android smartphones and tablets. They’ll be testing it out in iOS devices in the next few months so sorry iPhone and iPad users, you’ll have to still finish downloading before you can watch them.