iPhone and iPad owners rejoice! Netflix, the on-demand movie and TV streaming service responsible for original shows like Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black has enabled content downloading for offline viewing.
This means users can save content when they’re on Wi-Fi and watch it later, when there’s no internet connection, such as on a plane, or out in the sticks somewhere. It’ll also make commuters lives a little more pleasant – if only cellular signals are available, users don’t need to rely on their data plan to watch Netflix as they travel about.
It’s hands-down the most requested feature from Netflix, and it’s offered by competitors such as Amazon Prime Video, so the capability is a long time coming.
Currently, the feature is not available on all content, presumably due to licensing restrictions, but most of its original shows and movies are. Thankfully, Netflix has added a new section to help users find content available for download.
To find it, open up the Netflix app, tap the menu icon (the three horizontal lines in the top left.) You’ll find under ‘Home,’ that the first option is ‘Available for Download.’ Tap that, then choose a show. Next to each episode there is a downward arrow symbol. Tapping that will download the episode. These can then be found under ‘My Downloads,’ which can be accessed via the menu, and is located under Notifications.
Downloading TV episodes or movies will quickly take up space on your device. They download in standard definition, which might take up around 250MB for a 45-minute episode of a TV show. However, if you’ve plenty of storage on your device, you may want to bump up the quality to HD. To do this, head to the menu icon once more, scroll down to ‘App Settings,’ and tap on that. Under ‘Downloads’ tap on ‘Video Quality’ then select ‘Higher.’ This will nudge the storage taken by the same episode up to around 1GB.
In the US, Netflix has three pricing tiers starting at $7.99. The service has 87 million active users worldwide, 47 million of which are based in the US.