Netflix is ready to release an update that allows users to start watching a content offline even if it has not been completely downloaded
The ability to download a content from Netflix and then watch it offline was introduced back in 2016 and, since then, it has become one of the most appreciated by users. Because it's convenient: it allows you to do the download while connected to a free network or home Wi-Fi and then watch the movie or TV series episode whenever you want.
From 2016 to now, however, this feature has never really been changed and it continues to have a major limitation: you need to download the file completely before you start watching. If you're 50% through a long, heavy movie, then, you can't start watching it. Many users, over the years, have asked Netflix to introduce the ability to watch partially downloaded content and the company has always responded very vaguely, thanking them for the suggestion and stating that they were considering introducing this feature. Apparently, in the end, Netflix has been convinced and may soon please users. This can be deduced from reading the code of the latest version of the app for Android, v7.58.0, analyzed by the experts at XDA Developers.
Netflix: what's new in the latest version
The lines of code spotted by XDA all have to do with the partial download of the file. These are all messages that the app could send to the user when the already downloaded part of the file has been viewed completely. Messages like "You've reached the end of what you've downloaded so far. Do you want to download to mobile to continue watching?" or "You've reached the end of what's been downloaded so far. Connect to the Internet to continue watching" and "You need to download a little more to start watching". Messages not present in previous versions of Netflix's Android app, although it's still uncertain whether the next final update of the app will actually introduce this new feature.
What's the point of watching movies before the end of the download
Those who have a few years behind them and have used the first software for downloading movies from the Internet (in the era of wild software piracy), already have the answer to this question. The first reason to start watching a movie before the end of the download is just to see what kind of movie it is. If we don't like it we can also avoid continuing to download it and move on to the next one. The impatient, then, can't wait to see at least part of the latest episode of their favorite TV series, even if it isn't complete yet. Finally, those who have a not very performing connection can start downloading and after a few tens of minutes start watching to avoid watching it in streaming with many buffering interruptions.