iOS: Netflix launches downloads for offline viewing
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners can now download movies and TV shows from Netflix to watch while offline.
Eye on Apple
By Jim Lynch, CIO
Many iOS users have long wanted the ability to watch Netflix movies and TV shows offline, and now the company has finally delivered that feature to any device running iOS 8.0 or later. Yes, you can finally download many of your favorite Netflix TV shows and movies to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch!
Netflix’s Director of Product Innovation Eddy Wu announced the new feature:
Netflix members worldwide can now download in addition to stream great series and films at no extra cost.
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.
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. For example, Orange is The New Black, Narcos and The Crown are available for download today.
Get help for Netflix offline viewing problems in iOS
As with any new feature, there are bound to be some users who run into problems trying to use it. If you’re one of them, be sure to check out the “Downloading TV shows and movies on Netflix” page in the Netflix Help Center.
The information there should help you resolve any problems you encounter trying to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing. You can also start a live chat on that page with Netflix support or call them for additional help.
What Netflix subscribers are saying about offline viewing in iOS
News about Netflix providing downloadable TV shows and movies hit the Apple subreddit and the folks there shared their thoughts about it:
Kingofdanorf1337: “How big do the videos end up being? I should’ve got the bigger GB iPhone 7 plus :(”
Aapranto: “Well there are 2 quality options. I downloaded Men in Black 1 (97 mins), which took about 500mb in my 7+, the quality was terrible so I chose the higher quality option, ended up with a ~900mb download, but much better quality. ”
Alxcay: “How come not everything is available? Do different movie/tv shows have certain agreements about downloading their media?”
Sandiskplayer34: “Not just original series, a fair amount of their library is downloadable!”
SpeakerOfTheOutHouse: “Wow, I clearly remember when they said this would never happen. Glad to see them coming around, and doing what their customers have asked for.”
Dafones: “It was probably due to licensing. I doubt Netflix was against it internally.”
ShivaSkunk777: “I agree. It doesn’t cost them anything. Just takes potential profit from cell providers that won’t get as much data usage.”
Anman: “This is huge! until now, I could probably count the number of times I used netflix on my phone on one hand. Now more than ever I feel very fortunate to have a 64gb iphone! I can’t wait to get lost in the woods and use the netflix fireplace to stay warm.”
XeraanTruss: “Yesssss! This will make my lunch breaks at work a bit better.”
UramaObama: “I got stuck with having to buy a 256gb version and was pretty bummed since it was a LOT more expensive than the tier below it. This makes it worth it though! ”
Kudos to Netflix for offline viewing on iOS devices
As you can tell from the comments in the Reddit thread, most people are quite happy about being able to download movies and TV shows from Netflix for offline viewing. It’s something that the company clearly needed to offer, and now that it’s here it adds real value to a Netflix subscription.
Of course it’s not quite perfect though since some TV shows and movies are not downloadable. I’m not sure why they aren’t available, but it probably has to do with media licensing deals. Hopefully Netflix will work toward adding as many TV shows and movies to its downloadable library as quickly as possible.
In the meantime, it looks like there are already plenty of movies and TV shows to download to your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.
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