Using Netflix on your Mobile Device: Hacks You Never Knew You Needed

Remember cable? If it sounds awkward now, give it a few generations. You’re imagining the conversation with grandkids about “when I was your age, we didn’t have Netflix,” like it was walking uphill in the snow to school, aren’t you?

Lest you disappoint them, it’s time to take your Netflix game to the next level. Sure, it’s simple to log in and queue up the next episode of your favorite program on the TV, but anyone with a Netflix account can, and should, be taking advantage of the streaming service’s mobile perks. What perks? These.

Netflix Enhancement Suite

There’s a lot of choices on Netflix, which can make it intimidating when you stray from the app’s narrow-minded selection of “suggested content.” But with this clever add-on, you can get some real-world feedback about what you’re thinking of watching without having to commit to the first five minutes.

What feedback? You get IMDb profiles, Rotten Tomatoes ratings, and even full movie trailers. It’s like Netflix the way it always should have been.

Netflix

Access Movies for Other Countries

Not movies from other countries—you can already do the subtitles thing if that’s what you’re into. Netflix has a different selection of films based on where you live. For example, people in the United Kingdom might get the next season of The Walking Dead months before those in the United States.

That doesn’t seem fair, does it? Well, you can turn the tables by installing an unblocker such as Smartflix on your mobile device. Be warned that some of these apps have come under question for security reasons, so you should understand the risks involved if you use them.

Use Online Ranking Sites

These sites rank all content on Netflix using third-party ratings, instead of the awkward internal Netflix ratings. If you’ve used Netflix, you’ve probably gotten lost in the endless categories and search sub-menus. Instead, just use one of these.

Download Movies to Watch Offline

You’ve got a long flight coming up, and you know that everything the airline offers is not of interest or you’ve already seen it. What to do? How about downloading some content that you’ll actually look forward to?

You can do that. To get away with it, you’ll need a mobile device or Windows 10 on your computer. Visit the App Settings menu and select the video quality you want to use. Higher quality will cause download sizes to increase. Next, choose Available for Download from the same menu. You should see a list of titles that you can pull directly to your phone. Time to delete a few old photos and vids.

 

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Dial in Your Subtitles

This might not be as life-changing as a whole slew of new content, but if you’re a foreign film buff trying to watch on a small phone screen, you may want to improve the legibility of subtitles. You can do that under your account settings. Go to your profile settings and select Subtitle Appearance. There are quite a few ways to help your dialog stand out.

Wait, I Wanted to Watch That!

If you spent all the time it takes to browse through Netflix and decide on something to watch researching which titles are going to expire in the next week or two, you might be able to stay out in front of them. As well all know, ain’t nobody got time for that.

Instead, you can install the Flix Plus extension for Chrome, which will highlight titles that are about to expire as you browse the Netflix library. This way deciding between two titles gets a little simpler, and you can save content that isn’t expiring for later.

Modern devices allow you to stream and download an entire library of content, which means you can enjoy Netflix just about anywhere in the world. If your binge-watching habit just got even worse, sorry we’re not sorry.

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Kayla Matthews is the editor of Productivity Bytes and a senior writer at MakeUseOf. Her work has also been published on VentureBeat, The Next Web, The Week and VICE. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest posts.