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Netflix tests sleep timer feature on Android

2021-02-01 16:14 by
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Netflix is testing a timer feature on Android that will let you pause a show after a certain time has elapsed. The timer function allows you to choose to stop playback after 15, 30, or 45 minutes — or until the end of your current episode. To turn it on, users will see a new clock icon in the top right-hand section of the screen that will display the four timer options, all of which can be snoozed if you're still awake at the end of your chosen sleep timer interval.

The feature is only available on select Android devices and is limited to adult profiles right now—though it's easy to see how it might be a great option for parents who want to limit screen time for their kids. Some of the other ways this tool might be helpful include setting increments of streaming time based on a workout, or for passive viewing before bedtime. Netflix noted the feature isn't meant to compete with sleep but rather complement it.

"This test is the latest example—a new timer that gives members more control over their viewing experience by simply choosing their favorite show or movie and setting a timer without having to worry about pausing it before it's over," a Netflix spokesperson said. "We experiment with these types of tests and will only roll the feature out more broadly if we find it improves the member experience."

It's actually quite surprising that the feature is new to Netflix, given that Netflix usage has spiked over the past 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, a sleep timer is one of those nice little options that simply adds an option to the Netflix app at the side of the Chromecast icon denoting how long before your stream will completely stop playing.

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