There's no denying it, one of America's favorite pastime activities is Netflix. In fact, more than one-third of data usage consumed during peak hours in the U.S. is attributed to Netflix video streaming.
There's nothing like chilling at home, searching for that perfect flick to pass the night away. With a solid home internet connection and generous data caps, you can stream to your heart's content.
On mobile, it's a different story. Irregular mobile data connections, scarce Wi-Fi hotspots, and limited data caps are some of the factors to consider before taking Netflix on the road. Thankfully, that's about to end.
After months of teases and rumors, Netflix has finally delivered a new feature millions of subscribers have been clamoring for: downloads for offline playback.
With the Netflix's update for its iOS and Android app, subscribers can now download a large selection of TV shows and movies straight to their gadget for offline viewing.
Now, as long as your gadget's storage space allows it, you can hoard your favorite Netflix originals such as "Stranger Things," "Narcos," "Black Mirror" or "Luke Cage" and a growing selection of movies like "Boyhood," "Good Will Hunting," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and episodes of TV shows like "The Twilight Zone" or "The IT Crowd" and watch them as many times as you like even in the absence of a data connection.
In this age of mobile streaming, why does this matter again? Well, it will be a most convenient feature to use on that long commute or road trips where mobile connections are irregular and unreliable.
Preparing for content to watch on those long airplane flights will also be easier with this option, just queue everything up on your gadget while on Wi-Fi and away you binge.
Parents will surely appreciate this feature too. Just download the old reliable shows that your kids enjoy and they will always be available for viewing regardless of the data connection quality.
Airplane mode. Road trip mode. Stuck-in-the-subway-for-20-minutes mode. Your favorite stories are now available for download any time. pic.twitter.com/g7QZA3TyE8
— Netflix US (@netflix) November 30, 2016
According to Netflix's announcement:
"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. Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection."
So, you can't wait to try this huge Netflix feature out?
Make sure you have the latest Netflix app on your gadget (update is currently available for iOS and Android).
Once you're updated, you will be greeted by a short "Download & Go" tutorial.
Click on the three-striped Menu button in the upper-left corner and you'll see a new "Available for Download" section.
If a TV Show or a movie is available for download, a download icon will be displayed on the movie page or alongside it if it's a TV series episode.
You can check your content's Download progress by going to the My Downloads section.
There are two video quality settings you can choose from: "Standard," which uses a slightly lower resolution, and less storage space so it downloads faster, and the "Higher" setting, which has better quality but takes more space and downloads longer.
Other download options you can tweak under App Settings are "Wi-Fi Only" downloads.
Your mileage may vary, of course, but I tested a Standard quality download of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and it took about 10 minutes to complete the 407.7 MB download (the movie is about an hour and 48 minutes long). For that file size, the quality of Standard is actually good.
And the best thing is, I could watch it over and over without eating through my data plan each time.
Are you excited about this new Netflix feature? Drop us a comment below!