Netflix adds audio-only mode, initially on Android

Netflix has a large library of content, but its well-designed app is perhaps one of the most attractive features in the service. Now, Netflix is ​​testing a new audio-only mode on its Android app.

As first reported by the people over at Android Police, some Android users see a new toggle while streaming shows and movies that completely turn off the video stream, leaving users just with the audio from that piece of content. For a video streaming service, this might look weird, but it seems to be a feature that some people use for familiar TV shows and movies or maybe even a large Netflix library of stand-up comedy.

When this feature is used, the video pops up completely, leaving the screen largely blank from the usual Netflix controls. In audio-only mode, Netflix still shows play / stop, timeline, speed, screen lock, program, subtitle, and buttons of the next program. Even the brightness slider still appears, which, admittedly, becomes useless without on-screen content. Toggle is the only new thing to toggle the video back on, the same toggle that was used to turn it off in the first place.

It’s unclear if Netflix can use this new audio mode to leave the app running in the background sans picture-in-picture, but that could very well be the ultimate goal.

In the app’s options menu, Netflix allows users to always turn this feature off or just show up when using external audio, such as headphones.

It is not clear when this feature will be widely distributed.

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