Netflix has finally introduced offline viewing. At present it is limited to select movies and TV shows. It works only on an iOS or Android device and is available through an app update. The feature allows you to download entire movies or episodes of a series you’re watching to your device. In the event you do not have an internet connection, or you don’t want to burn through your data plan while travelling, you can download something to watch later. Here’s how the feature works.
Offline viewing is available indiscriminately to all users, regardless what type of plan they are on. iOS users should be running version 9.0.0 of the app and Android users should be running version 4.12.0.
Launch the app and it will announce the new feature after the update. Movies or TV shows that you can download have a download button under them. Simply tap this button and it will start downloading the content.
The account we tested this on was on a basic plan which doesn’t have HD streaming support. It is likely that, if you’re on the premium plan, Netflix will ask you what quality you want to download the content in.
To view the content you’ve downloaded, go to the Account tab where there is a new page called ‘My Downloads’. All content you’ve downloaded will appear here. As mentioned, this feature is not available for all content. The ‘My Downloads’ screen can help you find content that is available for offline viewing.
The feature is being rolled out to all regions that Netflix is available in. The content is saved to the app’s storage and not to the media folder on your device. Netflix will likely never make entire series available offline to prevent piracy.
The feature is aimed at helping people who live in countries with poor internet speed have a better viewing experience. It is also aimed at people who want to conserve data usage on their cellular plan while watching Netflix on the go. It goes without saying that this will also save some battery life on the device you choose to watch the content on.