Thursday, December 17, 2020

Netflix Gets A Podcast-Like Audio-Only Mode On Android

For an app like Netflix, among the last things you’d want to do with it is to turn the video off and only listen to the audio. But that’s what the company is allowing users to do now, at least on Android.

Android Police reports that a number of users are starting to get the feature, as part of a Netflix server-side update. To find out if you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll see a “Video Off” button once you put a video into fullscreen mode. Tapping it kills the video but leaves just about everything else on screen. This includes the option to turn on subtitles if they are available.

There will also be an “Audio Only” set of options in the settings menu. Here, you get to choose when you want to use the mode. Three options are available, which are Always On, Headphones or External Speakers, or Off.

The only way this is in anyway practical for Netflix is for standup comedy videos. But even then, some comedians do make use of gestures and facial expressions as part of their act, which you’ll miss if you use this. Some other shows may work if they’re inherently radio-like, but you risk missing out on small but equally important visual cues.

As mentioned, Netflix is rolling out this feature with a server-side update. So it may take awhile before you see it on your Android app. No word on when it will also apply to iOS.

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