The long wait is finally over. Netflix is now allowing its users to download a whole array of popular shows and movies to their mobile devices. The downloads are fast and simple to do, and the feature is primarily targeted at people who travel a lot and don’t want to miss out on their shows when they’re not on WiFi.
But don’t get excited just yet. Some of their top shows aren’t available for offline viewing. To see which ones are available, look under the “Available for Download” tab. You should also be able to see a “My Downloads” tab next to it. The updated app is available on iTunes as well as Google Play, and supports iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch 6th generation and Android smartphones and tablets.
Quite a few of their very popular original shows are available right now, such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things and Master of None, as well as hit TV shows like Breaking Bad and Cheers. There are also several stand-up comedy videos from comedians like Ali Wong and Chris Tucker.
The reason these downloads happen quickly is the file sizes. Because they’re meant for mobile devices, Netflix has made sure these file sizes are smaller. You should be able to download a full-length feature film in about two minutes to your device over a Wi-Fi connection. You do have a choice of two download qualities, but neither are as good as watching in HD or getting it from iTunes.
To prevent indiscriminate sharing of these videos, Netflix has applied a time limit to each. Most will expire in a few days to a week. If you want to watch them after that time you’ll have to download them again.
And now for the bad news…
A lot of the newer content outside Netflix’s production area are off limits. You can’t get Gilmore Girls or Fuller House or Jungle Book or any of the classics that parents use to keep their kids occupied. However, Netflix has come out saying that they’re working on getting download rights to titles they don’t own themselves.
Another downside – especially on iPhone and iPad – is, of course, storage space. If you’re on older 16GB device, there’s only so much you can download. Android devices have an edge in that respect because of the expandable memory option. Simply move downloaded files to your microSD card and you’ve freed up space for more.
The good thing about this is that you don’t have to let your Netflix time eat into your data plan. Just download when on WiFi and watch at leisure. Netflix is definitely one of the last streaming video providers to introduce downloadable content, but it’s likely they waited this long so they at least have some decent original programming to offer for download.
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