Netflix confirms it's adding playback speed controls to its Android app

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 2, 2020

The feature is coming to iOS and the web soon, but there are now no plans to make playback speed controls a part of Netflix's TV apps.

The feature has been under testing since previous year. In addition, the feature will require that users select which speed they want to play back video each time they watch something new, as opposed to letting them set a default nonstandard playback speed.

The speed playback adjustment enables subscribers to slow down video to 0.5 or 0.75 times the original speed, or to speed it up by 1.25 or 1.5 times.

According to The Verge, Android app users can now access the feature, which is also available for downloaded titles saved for offline viewing.

Various role players in the industry believed the move would undermine the creative visions of movie and tv show makers. 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.

In that same vein, playback speeds settings don't carry over to every title, unlike other accessibility features like captions. Director Judd Apatow said that "distributors don't get to change the way content is presented". It delayed the rollout as the feature had some niggles and needed optimization.

This feature was first announced a year ago, and it took this long to launch because Netflix was working on features that ensure a smooth experience - such as automatically correcting the pitch in audio at faster and slower speeds so what you're hearing isn't going to be a distorted mess.

The playback speed controls are now rolling out to Netflix on Android. The feature is rolling out tomorrow and will be available to everyone globally in the coming weeks. There is now 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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