Netflix has answered our prayers, and oh-so conveniently in time for finals season for college students. On Wednesday, the online movie and television platform announced that its users can now download Netflix videos to watch sans Wi-Fi, a major score for users.
But don’t get too excited just yet: this new feature is only available on Android and iOS phones and tablets. Once you download the Netflix app on one of those devices, though, this latest addition is pretty easy to work. From the app’s homepage, you can select from a list of movies and TV shows available for download and voila, you’re there.
Yes, the key word is “available,” because not every Netflix movie or show can be downloaded. That said, I looked through the list, and I have to say that it’s pretty on point with its options so far. From Netflix-
produced “Stranger Things” and “House of Cards,” to fan-favorite shows like “The Office,” to seasonal classics like “Love Actually,” I give it two thumbs up. And if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, Eddy Wu, director of product innovation at Netflix, said in a USA TODAY article that more films and shows will be made available to download.
I think making videos available for download is an amazing move on Netflix’s part. While Netflix has always been a star in its industry (after all, “Netflix and chill” is pretty much a mantra of the millennial generation), other platforms that already allow subscribers to download videos have had the opportunity to pull ahead. Now, Netflix is back in the running for No. 1. And its stock, which has gone up since the feature’s debut, shows it.
I actually find it interesting that Netflix’s downloadable content is only available for phones and tablets. I absolutely hate watching videos that are longer than four minutes on my phone. The screen is tiny, so I have to give it my full, undivided attention when playing a video. On my laptop, however, I can make the video full screen and continue to do other things. The picture is big enough that I can glance up at it from afar and still see everything that’s going on.
It makes a lot of sense, however, to launch this feature on phones and tablets, because this technology is more portable than laptops. As a student, my laptop comes with me wherever I go — it’s really like an extended limb. But for those who are not regularly hunched over their laptops day in and day out checking grades on Blackboard or writing papers in Microsoft Word, they would probably prefer to travel with simply their phones and tablets. Employing the “Available for Download” feature on portable devices aptly highlights the implications behind the motto “watch wherever you go.”
Also, it provides motivation for people, like myself, to start using the Netflix app more, which I can only imagine means better business for the content-streaming mogul. While I hope that “Available for Download” will one day be supported by laptops and computers, it is definitely off to a good start, and I expect to see even more people plugged into their phones very soon.