At the tail end of last year, Netflix added a new feature to its mobile device application: offline viewing. This new service is available for Android and iOS systems, but not for desktop viewing (keep your fingers crossed that this will happen soon). This nifty new feature already has some of Netflix’s own hit series available for downloading such as Orange is the New Black and The Crown, but know that not all shows on Netflix are available under the “Available for Download” list. Just click the little download button on the show’s page, and you’ve got entertainment of your choice when you don’t have Wi-Fi, like your next plane ride, for instance. Something to keep in mind when you do download the app is that to use the offline feature you must have at least an iOS 8.0 and Android 4.4.2 software in order to make it work.
According to Wired, the reason for this wait is because of rights to shows, which might be part of Netflix’s reason for investing so much money into a whopping 600 hours of original viewing content in 2016. This way Netflix can avoid sticky situations in obtaining rights, and show what they want to show of their own repertoire in any available market. The article also mentions that this is really a moment for Netflix to stretch its legs even more around its growing global spread by making shows available offline to those in parts of the world who do not have as reliable Wi-Fi as other locations. These areas would include the emerging markets in parts of Asia and Africa. Users, in any location, do not have to worry as much about data costs piling up if they download while on Wi-Fi and then use their downloaded material at their own discretion.[UPDATED] As recent as January 25, 2017 another new feature was added in response to the issue of data usage: you can fix your settings so that you only download on Wi-Fi. Alongside that, Netflix created an option that downloads to an SD card, which is nice for those of us who always run out of space or overstretch data plans. Granted, the video resolution won’t be as good, since you won’t have the option of choosing viewing quality on the SD card, but the trade is worth it, I think. Even if Netflix never conquers the Chinese market, they’ve certainly gained other previously thought-to-be-unobtainable markets with the move offline, and all we can ask is, “What’s next, Netflix?”
Let us know what you’ll be downloading below in the comments!
– Kelly Gatewood
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