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Netflix Launches Downloads for Offline Viewing on Smartphones, Tablets

Netflix has finally rolled out a feature subscribers have been requesting for years: The company will now let members worldwide download select TV shows and movies for viewing on Apple and Android devices while disconnected from the internet.

The latest versions of the company’s mobile apps include a “download” button on the details page for a film or TV series — although not all titles on the streaming service are currently available to watch offline. The app also includes a new menu item showing what’s available to download.

Netflix said it will add more series and movies to download in the future. Original series including “Orange Is the New Black,” “Narcos,” “House of Cards,” “Stranger Things,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Master of None” and “The Crown” are available for download starting Wednesday. Other titles available for offline viewing include TV shows “Breaking Bad,” “Supernatural,” “The Office,” “The Flash” and “The 100,” and animated movies “Minions,” “Kung Fu Panda 3” and “Home.”

Content currently not available to download for offline viewing includes Netflix’s reboots of “Gilmore Girls” and “Fuller House,” as well as the Marvel street-hero series including “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage” and “Jessica Jones.” Also excluded are Disney movies including “Jungle Book,” “Zootopia” and “Lilo & Stitch.”

“While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their ‘Stranger Things’ binge while on airplanes and other places where internet is expensive or limited,” Eddy Wu, Netflix’s director of product innovation, wrote in a blog post announcing the feature.

Amazon Prime Video has offered offline viewing to members on iOS and Android apps for more than a year, while YouTube Red and Starz’s mobile apps also provide video downloads for access in offline mode.

Netflix’s new download feature is included in all plans and available for Android and iOS phones and tablets. To download titles, users will need iOS 8.0 or later or Android 4.4.2 or later as well as the latest update of Netflix’s app. The default settings allow downloads only over Wi-Fi connections but users can turn that off.

Netflix execs had previously raised the prospect of allowing downloads for offline viewing, but they had suggested the company would first launch the feature in countries with constrained bandwidth infrastructure.

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