Netflix on Android rolls out new audio-only playback option

Have you ever wished you could just listen to a movie or TV show's audio without having to play the video? Netflix has you covered, at least if you're an Android user. A feature first spied back in October has now appeared in the Netflix for Android app, enabling users to fire up a show, then disable the video portion so that only the audio plays.

Back in October, XDA published an APK teardown revealing the upcoming existence of a new audio-only playback feature that would enable users to listen to content in the background. According to Android Police, that feature is now rolling out to Android users through a server-side update.

Though some shows demand to be watched, others are less serious and may be enjoyable without video — and some documentaries can essentially be enjoyed like podcasts in the absence of the visual aspect. Perhaps the audio-only mode hints at a new variety of documentary projects in the future that will work just as well as audio shows.

Many Netflix users on Android are still waiting for the feature to roll their way, but those who have access to it will note a new option when the video is played in full-screen mode: "Video off." Tapping that option will disable the video while the audio continues to play.

As with video, users can still scrub through the audio, pause playback, and similar things. Users are also given control over when the app will play audio only, such as 'always' or only when connected to headphones or external speakers. Ultimately, the feature is likely most useful for documentaries and comedy, but it may only be the first part of a larger project taking place behind closed doors.