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By Abhay V
Netflix begins offering select content for free without a subscription
by Abhay Venkatesh
Netflix is letting users around the globe watch some of its originals for free. The streaming service added a web portal for watching content without signing up for the service or initiating a free trial. Users can head to the company's website and choose to stream any movie from the list of offerings, or the first episodes if it is a series.
In a statement to Gadgets 360, the company said that it is “looking at different marketing promotions to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience.”. The ability to stream content from a browser for free is available on Windows, macOS, and Android. A support page for the free option adds that iOS browsers are currently not supported.
The list of free offerings includes:
Stranger Things Murder Mystery Elite The Boss Baby: Back in Business Bird Box When they See Us Love Is Blind The Two Popes Our Planet Grace and Frankie The streaming service previously experimented with a freemium model in India by offering the first episode of the ‘Bard of Blood’ – a Netflix original series – for free. Other efforts to increase subscribers in regions like India include introducing a more affordable, Mobile+ plan. It is currently not clear if the ability to stream for free is for a limited period, or if the firm continues to refresh the list with new content.
Source: OnlyTech via Gadgets 360
Netflix adds HDR10 support for new Samsung and TCL devices
by João Carrasqueira
Smartphones with support for HDR have become increasingly more commonplace in recent years, and thus it's only natural that Netflix has to continually keep adding support for new devices as they come. The streaming service has now updated its support page yet again (via MSPoweruser) to add a number of devices to the supported list.
Most of the new devices come from Samsung's recent Unpacked event, including the GalaxyNote20, Note20 Ultra, Tab S7+, and Z Fold2. The Galaxy Z Flip 5G, announced a week before Unpacked, has also been added to the list. Interestingly, the regular Galaxy Tab S7 doesn't support HDR on Netflix. Aside from the new Samsung phones and tablet, TCL also has a couple of new devices on the list, the TCL 10 5G and the TCL 10 Plus, both of which were recently introduced.
Netflix also updated the list of devices that support streaming in HD resolution, which includes all of the devices above, plus the following:
Samsung Galaxy A21s Samsung Galaxy A31 Samsung Galaxy A41 Samsung Galaxy A51 5G Samsung Galaxy A71 5G Samsung Galaxy M31s Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 While you might assume any device with an HD and HDR display would support these features on Netflix, certain requirements have to be met, specifically support for DRM plug-ins like Widevine, which enable or restrict support for certain kinds of encrypted content. The OnePlus 5 and 5T infamously didn't support HD content in 2017, and according to the Netflix support page, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro apparently don't support it either - though users claim it does work as intended.
By Jay Bonggolto
Netflix will let you control its playback speeds on Android
by Jay Bonggolto
Netflix has confirmed that it will add the ability for its subcribers to control the playback speeds of movies or TV shows they watch on the streaming platform on their Android device. The new feature will roll out beginning on August 1, just a few months after testing that capability, and will go live for everyone over the next few weeks.
Unlike YouTube's playback speed controls, which allow you to speed up the video playback by up to twice the normal speed, Netflix's upcoming feature will cap its fast-forward speeds at either 1.25x or 1.5x (via The Verge). You can also slow the playback down to 0.5x or 0.75x. These speeds will apply to both online streams and offline videos in the case of downloaded titles.
It is important to note that you will need to enable that playback setting for every title you watch, so your next video won't play at the same speed as your last watched title if you don't want it to. Along with playback speed controls, Netflix will add a few other capabilities that will help retain the quality of videos, including the automatic correction of pitch in the audio when its normal speed is changed. This is in response to various concerns by the creative community.
The new capability will be available on Android at first, with plans to test it on iOS and the web. Netflix didn't say whether it would test that feature on TVs or set-top boxes.
By Usman Khan Lodhi
Netflix exceeds one billion downloads on the Play Store
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Netflix has exceeded one billion downloads on the Play Store, as spotted by Android Police. It is a rather common feat for Google-developed apps, but for the streaming giant, this is a remarkable achievement.
Due to many of us staying home amid coronavirus-related lockdowns, Netflix probably has had higher than normal usage, which helped the firm in hitting the mark. During the lockdowns, Netflix reduced streaming bit rates to help minimize network congestion and restored it months later.
In some OnePlus and Samsung phones, the app comes pre-installed, which also helps the numbers. It is safe to say that Netflix is still the biggest streaming service worldwide, as competitors are way behind. For comparison, Hulu has just 50 to 100 million downloads, and the Prime Video app is between 100 to 500 million downloads on the Play Store.
To expand its user base, Netflix is known for testing low-cost plans in South Asian markets from time to time, with the streaming giant testing a new "Mobile+" plan in India earlier this month. Incentivizing new users to sign up has likely also helped Netflix to pump the numbers a bit.
Source: Android Police
Netflix is now available on Google's Nest Hub and Next Hub Max
by João Carrasqueira
Google's Nest Hub smart displays are getting some new entertainment options today with Netflix launching on both the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max. The service is rolling out starting today, and it'll be available in every market where both Netflix and Google's Nest devices are available.
You can link your Netflix account using the Google Home app or the Google Assistant app, and from there, you can use the smart displays to watch Netflix. The app support voice commands such as "Hey Google, play Queer Eye", or you can ask to open the Netflix app and browse it yourself using the touch screen. Playback commands also work with voice, or you can use quick gestures, a Nest Hub feature that lets you play and pause by just raising your hand while facing the device.
The Google Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max already supported a handful of video streaming services, such as Hulu and CBS All Access. Additionally, services like Disney+, HBO Max, and Netflix itself, already let users cast content from a phone to a smart display.
Google has been making smart displays stand on their own compared to smart speakers with features that make use of their unique hardware, such as the recently-added support for Duo video calls. If you happen to want more than one, Google is currently offering $75 off when you buy two Google Nest Hub Max devices, making the set cost $383 instead of $458.