‘Tis the season for oversized meals, oversized sweaters, and now, oversized quantities of Netflix. That’s because the streaming service has now made it possible for users to “download in addition to stream great series and films at no extra cost.” That’s right — you can now watch Netflix offline, as long as you remember to hit that little download button on the details page before heading off to a Wi-Fi-less land.
“While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited,” wrote Eddy Wu, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix. But now, you don’t have to depend on a Wi-Fi connection in order to enjoy your favorite pastime.
Netflix has been hinting at the possibility of such a feature for quite some time now, with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings suggesting during the company’s first-quarter earnings call that offline viewing could be on the horizon. And now, he’s made good on that suggestion.
“Many of your favorite streaming series and movies are already available for download, with more on the way, so there is plenty of content available for those times when you are offline,” Wu continued. “For example, Orange is The New Black, Narcos and The Crown are available for download today.”
The best part is that Netflix hasn’t limited this feature to just some subscription tiers — rather, regardless of what plan you may have, you can start downloading and watching offline today. If you’ve got an Android or iOS device, offline viewing is now a possibility.
There are some stipulations, of course. As mentioned above, Netflix’s own series are the first to be available for download, and it’s not yet clear how many titles outside of Netflix’s own creation will be available. The service is also currently limited to mobile devices and won’t work on a laptop, so those who want to watch a larger screen will need to do so on a tablet. Still, this is a major move for the service, especially for those in areas where high-speed internet is hard to come by.
You will, of course, have to update the Netflix app on your device to the latest version in order to take advantage of the new feature, but that hardly seems like a steep price to pay for binge watching your favorite programs just about anytime, anywhere. So consider this an early holiday present from Netflix.