Movies and shows can be extremely personal, and users usually have preferences over how they want to watch them. While some prefer watching them on big screens, others don't mind viewing on their small smartphones. But now it appears that Netflix is testing a new feature for its Android app that would enable users to play movies and shows in an audio-only mode for background listening. The feature essentially lets users catch up movies and TV shows in a podcast-like format, especially when they cannot stare at the screen for longer or have other tasks to do.
The development of the audio-only mode was spotted by XDA Developers during the APK teardown of Netflix app for Android version 7.79.1. At the moment, the feature appears to be in its early stages of development and it likely that it may not rollout to main Netflix Android app at all. Similarly, the exact functioning of the audio-only mode on the Netflix app remains unclear. It is safe to assume that with the availability of the feature, users would be able to multitask by minimising the app or even when the phone screen is locked. At the moment, Netflix app does allow quick texting from the notification bar without any pauses or interruption. However, the app does not continue playing the TV show when the phone screen is locked. Additionally, the XDA Developers report adds that this feature could save the battery of the smartphone and even preserve mobile data.
Currently, Netflix does allow picture-in-picture mode on several Android devices that enable users to multitask by playing the content in a floating window. The audio-only mode is akin to background audio playback feature available on YouTube Premium app. Meanwhile, Netflix recently announced a free trial of its service for a weekend with Netflix StreamFest. The offer is essentially for those users who have not subscribed to the platform yet, and they can access the entire catalogue of movies and TV shows that is available in the region.