Disney+’s lackluster app isn’t going to stop anyone from watching the new streaming service — we need to get our Baby Yoda fix somehow — but compared to Netflix, Hulu, and the rest of Disney’s competitors, the platform is woefully incomplete.
Still, it looks like there’s hope for the future. Recently, Disney rolled out a couple of updates to the Disney+ interface that will make taking a break from TV shows and movies a lot easier and less frustrating. Now, partially watched titles contain a progress indicator showing how far into the program you’ve watched, and a “Resume” button appears at the top of program pages.
The new features don’t seem to be available on all devices quite yet. While we’ve confirmed that the progress indicator and the Resume button appear on the Disney+ web interface, it’s missing on other devices, including the Fire TV 4K. We’ve asked Disney for a full list of Disney+ app updates and a timeline for when new features will appear on various devices and will update when we hear back.
As we noted in our review, Disney’s new streaming service looks pretty, but its missing many of the quality-of-life features customers have come to expect from top-tier services. Currently, there’s no way to jump straight into a show you’ve been watching from the home page. You’ll need to add the program to your Watchlist or find it via search to resume viewing.
Speaking of search, Disney+’s search implementation seems to be fundamentally flawed. When we tried to find 101 Dalmations, for example, we had to search for “One hundred and one” to find the original animated film — “101” didn’t cut it.
Still, it’s a good sign that Disney is addressing Disney+’s flaws so soon after launch, and we expect Disney+ to improve quickly. On the plus side (no pun intended), Disney+ already lets users turn off background videos, which is a feature that Netflix has yet to implement.
Disney+ launched on November 12, 2019, with a library full of Disney-owned television shows and movies, as well as the first episode of the live-action Star Wars show The Mandalorian. It looks like the service’s technical shortcomings haven’t hurt Disney’s new streaming service, either: More than 10 million people signed up for Disney+ in its first 24 hours.
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