A very useful new feature is being added to Netflix, but unfortunately it looks as though iPhone users will miss out for the time being.
If you’ve ever had to suffer from a poor Wi-Fi connection when you’re trying to download a movie from Netflix to watch later, perhaps when you’re going to catch a flight, then you’ll know just how frustrating it can be when the content just doesn’t load properly and you’re stuck with nothing to do on a long journey.
Fortunately a new update will ameliorate that situation a little; but Apple fans won’t be happy to hear that it is going to Android phones first.
Partial downloading is now available on compatible devices, whereby you can play back as much of a TV episode or film as you have downloaded, even if the file hasn’t completely finished downloading. Once your connection strengthens again, you can choose to finish the download and keep watching. This is of course far preferable to the previous system, where you’d only have the option to watch downloaded content in its entirety or not at all.
However, the catch is that while “partial downloading is now available on Android phones and tablets”, Netflix has admitted that it will “begin testing on iOS in the coming months”, so the feature will naturally take much longer to arrive on Apple devices.
This isn’t even the first time that Android has been ahead of the curve when it comes to new Netflix features. ‘Smart Downloads’, where a downloaded episode that has been watched is deleted and the following episode downloaded automatically, also arrived on the platform long before it got to iOS, while ‘Downloads for You’ (which automatically downloads recommended content) still has not been added to the iOS version of the app. When it comes to Netflix, it seems like Apple users are only getting the core experience.