Netflix Gains New Playback Speed Setting on Android; Coming to iOS & Web Soon


Ever wanted to pace through a dull section of a movie or slow down an amazing action sequence on Netflix? Well, it is now possible to do both as Netflix has added playback speed controls to its Android app today.

The feature has been under testing since last year. If you hop into the Netflix on your Android device and play any piece of content, you will now see a new ‘Speed’ control sitting to the left of the ‘Screen Lock’ option. Tap on the ‘Speed’ button to either slow down the content to 0.75x and 0.5x speeds or speed it up to 1.25x and 1.5x.

The speed controls will not only be available for streamed titles but the downloaded ones as well, according to Netflix. You will also need to adjust the speed for each TV show or movie individually. The app won’t preserve the setting across titles.

Netflix has rolled out the speed control even though it was met with backlash from the creative community. Director Judd Apatow said that “distributors don’t get to change the way content is presented.” Keela Robison, Netflix’s VP of product innovation told The Verge that the deaf and blind community have, however, been requesting such a feature for the longest time.

The company is not offering more speed controls (like 0.25x and 2x) because it doesn’t want to totally disrupt the viewing experience. It delayed the rollout as the feature had some niggles and needed optimization. Netflix says it will automatically correct the pitch in the audio at slower or faster speeds for a smooth experience.

The playback speed controls are currently rolling out to Netflix on Android. The web and iOS apps are said to gain this feature in the coming weeks. There is currently no testing underway for the company’s TV apps, so speeding through TV series or movies on a smart TV may not be possible anytime soon.



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