Netflix gets easier playback controls for its mobile app

Netflix mobile

Netflix has brought some long-awaited respite to iOS and Android users, introducing new playback controls for watching the app's wide library of TV shows, documentaries, and films.

While streaming or watching downloaded content, users can now jump 10 seconds back or forward by either pressing a button or double-tapping the left and right sides of the screen (rather than having to drag along the timeline with far less precision). 

There are also now three tags along the bottom of the screen during play: one for the episodes list, another for the audio and subtitles options, and a handy button to skip to the next episode. Oh, the convenience!

One more cosmetic change has made the play button slightly larger: welcome when using those piddly smartphone screens.

The changes bring the Netflix mobile app more in line with its browser version, or indeed YouTube's mobile app, which already offers similar controls.

Every little helps

While the changes seem small, they do improve Netflix's on-the-go offering, and small conveniences can go a long way.

With Netflix set to lose a chunk of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm content when the competing Disney+ streaming service launches next year, Netflix will be looking for any way it can to retain its massive user base – which recently hit over 137m users.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.