Netflix App Update Brings Improved Data Consumption Controls

For a while now, Netflix has been throttling users data consumption on AT&T and T-Mobile to help users not kill their entire data allotment on a streaming movie.  Now Netflix has brought that capability to everyone thanks to the latest update of the Android app from the streaming service.  The updated build, version 4.5.0 for those keeping score at home, is rolling out now in the Google Play Store.  If you have the app installed, you should see the OTA update over the course of the next day or so.

The new Cellular Data Usage setting is found in App Settings and by default is going to be set to Automatic.  However, if you want to manually override those settings for greater (or lesser) video

Netflix Cellular Data Usage Settings
Netflix Cellular Data Usage Settings

quality, you can tap that setting, turn off the Automatic setting, and chose which quality you want for your streaming.  That can be completely off, meaning that Netflix will only stream content while you are using Wi-Fi, all the way up to unlimited where no throttling or quality changes will happen.  In between, there is a Low, Medium and High setting.  On Low, you can stream about 4 hours per GB of data usage while on High, that goes down to 1GB.  So while you cannot select say 480p, 720p or 1080p, you kind of get the idea of how these streaming perimeters work.  Personally I think the way that Netflix has phrased this in the app is great as it puts in plain numbers what people can expect for their data consumption and not trying to guess what 720p will do.

There are no new notable features in this update to Netflix other than this new Cellular Data Usage but there are the usual smattering of bug fixes and other under-the-hood tweaks.