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Netflix makes ‘Wifi only’ playback option available for Android users to curb data usage

Some people do not realise how much data usage they consume when browsing on the internet and streaming videos. At the end of each month it can be quite shocking when you realise you have exceeded your cap and have to spend extra… not at all helpful if you are on a budget these days. Netflix which provides on-demand internet streaming media to countries such as United State, Ireland and the United Kingdom, has developed a simple yet effective strategy to mitigate Android customers from going over their data limit.

Netflix’s application for Android recent update 2.0.0 contains a new feature that restricts video streaming to Wifi only networks. This option has taken its time to arrive for Android users as it was already available on iOS in May 2012 and has been enjoyed with much success.

Director of product management, Roma de, commented on the Netflix US & Canada blog:

We know many of you love to watch Netflix on your Android smartphones and tablets. We just launched a new feature where you can select to playback on Wi-Fi networks only. This means that while you can search, browse and enjoy all aspects of the Netflix app on a mobile data connection or Wi-Fi, you can choose (via a “Settings” feature) to playback on Wi-Fi networks only. Download the new Netflix app and enjoy Netflix!

So what does this mean exactly? Well, streaming videos from the internet uses up a considerable amount of bandwith. Enabling the ‘Wifi only’ settings option allows you to navigate and search Netflix on a mobile connection but you have to connect to a WiFi in order to watch videos. Providing this option alleviates the worry Android users may have experienced in the past about going over their data usage limit.  Furthermore, playing back videos on Wifi than 3G/4G may even be better as the connection is more reliable and stable.

The 2.0.0 Android update appears to have fixed some playback stability issues and made some user friendly tweaks to the interface.

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