When Netflix introduced offline downloads back in 2016, it was a much welcome addition for commuters, frequent travelers, and anyone with a spotty internet connection. The feature hasn’t changed much since then, but starting today, Netflix is now letting Android users watch partially downloaded content.
You’ll need to have an Android phone or tablet running at least version 7.64, but otherwise, you can enable the setting from either the Continue Watching section or the Download menu. Previously, Netflix required users to fully download offline content before being able to watch it. Users will also get the option to keep watching or finish downloads once they regain a strong enough connection.
“Whether it’s a long flight or an extended commute, downloaded series. and movies can make any moment on the more entertaining,” Netflix said in its announcement blog. “So we know the disappointment when you realize your download never completed because of unreliable wifi or a maxed out data plan.”
The feature is currently rolling out, so don’t worry if you don’t see it yet. That said, this, like Netflix’s recent Downloads for You recommendation feature, will remain an Android-only perk for the time being. It’s not clear when the feature might make its way to iPhones and iPads, though Netflix says it’s testing iOS compatibility “in the coming months.” According to the Verge, Netflix is working on testing Downloads for You on iOS “soon” as well.
While it’s not a mind-blowing update, it is a solid one considering how crappy internet speeds are in the U.S. right now. It’s also good timing, as Hot Vax Summer is underway and an increasing number of people are returning to restaurants and travel. At the very least, it should help make commuting less painful when we all start returning to the office.