I love, love, love Netflix. And I tell people that its $9.99/month price tag will buy you enough entertainment to last you a lifetime. But there’s one thing that I’ve never been able to easily do with Netflix—that is watch my favorite Netflix movies and shows when I’m on an airplane or in a location with poor or no Wi-Fi.
Netflix just changed all of that with its most recent app update (for smartphones and tablets). Now with certain Netflix movies and shows (it’s not on all of them but it’s a good start), you will see a download button. Tap that button and the movie or show downloads to your device.
What does this mean? It means you can watch your downloaded shows without needing a Wi-Fi connection. So go ahead and watch your downloaded shows on an airplane, on a cruise ship or in the middle of the desert (not recommended). I’ll probably also use this feature when staying in a hotel since often a hotel’s free Wi-Fi isn’t strong or consistent enough to maintain a good Netflix viewing experience.
Netflix even makes it easy to find downloadable shows. There’s a new item in the menu labeled, “Available for Download” that only shows you Netflix content that well, you guessed it, is available for download. This saves you a ton of time if you are preparing for an upcoming trip and want to watch a few shows without Wi-Fi while you’re gone.
There’s also a “My Downloads” menu item so you can jump right to the movies and shows you downloaded to start watching them.
As far as I can tell, you are only limited to the number of downloads by the storage space on your device. And it has to be your internal storage. Netflix doesn’t allow you to download to an external SD card.
I personally downloaded two movies and Netflix didn’t put up any kind of fuss. I was worried that you might only be able to download one show at a time but this does not appear to be the case.
Delete when you’re done
Of course, when you are done watching a downloaded show, you’ll want to delete it to free up space for future downloads. Netflix makes this easy to do right from the “My Downloads” screen.
Well done, Netflix. I think I’ll refine my opening statement by adding one more “love” to it. So I guess I now love, love, love, love Netflix!