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Netflix recommends you to watch its programs on big screens but it keeps updating its mobile app to bring more features to the smaller screens as well. It seems like the last report asserting an 'audio only' mode coming to the Netflix app was correct and it is closing its release.
In the last week of October, XDA Developers spotted the 'audio only' feature in the Netflix mobile app. Now, it seems like the first few subscribers have got the feature as part of the server-side rollout. Folks at Android Police have shared the screenshots of the first look of this feature appearing inside the app.
As per the screenshots shared by Android Police, we can see a 'Video Off/On' button along with other controls like scrub bar backward, forward, play, pause, screen lock, speed, brightness, cast and more.
Tapping on 'Video Off' turns audio-only mode where the visuals go blank, and you only see the control options over a black screen. While all the other options make sense, brightness control doesn't make any sense when you are not watching anything on the screen. The report does not tell whether one can lock the screen while listening to the audio or not.
There's also a new 'Audio Only' option in the settings as well. It lets users choose when you want to use the mode: 'Always On', 'Headphones' or 'External Speakers', and 'Off'.
For those who're thinking Netflix without visuals makes no sense, you're partially right. It may not sound as useful as it is on YouTube, but one can always enjoy sitcoms, stand-up comedy and similar content with just the audio. If not that, those with vision impairment can also make use of the feature. This will not only save the battery but also a lot of data. This could also see Netflix venture into the podcast market.
The official release date of the feature is not known yet. Apart from this feature, Netflix found to be testing a sleep timer option to the streaming app so that the service shuts off on its own rather than playing till your device’s battery runs out.