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Netflix still working on a low mobile data usage option for its apps

Remember that mobile data saving option Netflix launched back at Mobile World Congress? Yeah, that’s still work in progress apparently.

Following publication of Netflix’s latest quarterly figures, CEO Reed Hastings reiterated that updates to Netflix’s mobile apps will see customers able to toggle low-quality streams modes if they’re streaming content on capped data plans – or leave everything at high quality if they’re lucky enough to have a generous or unlimited data plan.

While ideally you’ll be streaming over WiFi anyway, there will be some situations when you simply won’t be able to help yourself, like when it’s suddenly Kimmy Schmidt Day. 

Speaking to Re/Code’s Peter Kafka, Hastings said: “Mobile generally has small data caps and very expensive per gigabyte charges like $10-$20 per GB supplementary. So we’ve wanted to save data for our users by using very tight and small encodes, especially when it’s being watched on a four or five-inch screen.

“What we’ll be adding going forward is an option so consumers can set if they want to do extreme data saving, moderate data saving or no data saving at all. We’ll evolve to let the users just do it but the advantage of doing it in the past was to… avoid those data plan overages that are pretty unique to mobile.” 

Hastings added that this feature, which currently exists on the desktop player, has ‘always been planned’ for mobile. Sadly there’s been no mention of timeframes for when the feature will hit the Netflix iOS and Android apps.

At the very least right now, an hour of Netflix will make an approximately 300MB-sized dent in your data plan. Standard definition streams will cost you 700MB per hour while HD streams will eat up 3GB per hour. 

You can watch Netflix’s Q1 2016 earnings interview below. The question regarding mobile data rates can be heard at around the 17 minute mark

Read next: How can I watch Netflix on my TV?


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