Netflix may soon let you watch your partially downloaded shows and movies on Android. Netflix has supported offline downloads on both mobile and desktop apps since 2016, but it does not let you play any videos that have not been completely downloaded. But this may soon change. We have found strings inside the Netflix app version 7.58.0 that suggest the company is planning to add the support for playing partially downloaded content.
An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.
These are the new strings within the Netflix app v7.5.80
<string name="label_partial_download_use_cellular_message">"You've reached the end of what you've downloaded so far. Would you like to download over cellular to continue watching?"</string>
<string name="label_partial_download_use_cellular_no">No Thanks</string>
<string name="label_partial_download_use_cellular_title">Download over cellular to continue watching?</string>
<string name="label_partial_download_use_cellular_yes">Download Now</string>
<string name="label_partial_download_download_more_message">You need to download a bit more to continue watching, or you can watch what you already have downloaded from the beginning.</string>
<string name="label_partial_download_download_more_no">Watch from Beginning</string>
<string name="label_partial_download_download_more_yes">Wait for Download</string>
<string name="label_partial_download_end_of_downloaded">"You've reached the end of what's been downloaded so far. Please connect to the internet to continue watching."</string>
<string name="label_partial_download_not_ready">You need to download a bit more to start watching.</string>
The ability to be able to watch partially downloaded videos will be useful when you’re on a spotty connection or have limited mobile data. The idea here is that if you run out of data or lose connection in the middle of downloading, you can at least watch the partially downloaded bits. Another possible application of the feature, as pointed out by our own Zachary Wander, is that you could use this feature to get around the buffering issue when you’re on a slow connection. For example, you could start downloading your favorite show, say, 30 min in advance, and then start watching it without any interruption. If done smartly, you can have a buffer-free experience while watching the latest episode.
A user back in February reached out to Netflix with a suggestion to add support for partial downloads. Netflix replied that they had taken into consideration the suggestion. However, it’s also entirely possible that Netflix may have been working on such feature well before it received the suggestion.
Thanks so much for your feedback, we have taken it into consideration from our end. *KB