Netflix for iOS Adds Controls to Save your Puny Canadian Data Plan

Netflix has launched cellular data controls globally today, so customers using their iOS and Android apps can control quality of streams, thusly managing their data plans.

In Canada, data is the new cash cow for wireless carriers, as prices per gigabyte have increased over the years, along with overage charges. These new Netflix data controls are definitely a welcome feature by the company.

To access these cellular data controls, update to the latest version of the iOS app, then go to App Settings within the app.

Here, you can have an option to Set Automatically (the default setting), which Eddy Wu, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix, explains in an email is about 3 hours of TV shows and movies per gigabyte of data, or 600 Kilobits per second bitrate. This setting, the company found, is the best balance between good video quality and lower data usage.

If you have a larger data bucket or are located in a country with reasonable wireless data rates (i.e. anywhere outside Canada), you can change settings yourself. You can go to Unlimited, High (1 hour of viewing per GB), Medium (2 hours of viewing per GB), Low (4 hours of viewing per GB) or Wi-Fi only (this setting has been there for a while).

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Wu adds the company is always “working on ways to improve picture quality while streaming more efficiently, so bitrates could change over time.”

Back in 2011, Netflix made changes for Canadian viewers so streaming would use two-thirds less bandwidth.

Another feature part of today’s update was the addition of 3D Touch support for iPhone 6s users, for quick shortcuts from the home screen icon for Search, My List, Trending Now and Continue Watching.

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Netflix continues to block most VPN usage worldwide, which has affected Canadians who want to watch US Netflix. If you are still looking for a VPN that can unblock Netflix, ExpressVPN is available and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Click here to download Netflix for iOS in the App Store.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Nick

    They really need to build in the ability to control the various Netflix apps with your phone. Like what youtube does. The catalogue is just too vast. Mobile devices is the best way to browser the library.

  • johnnygoodface

    Thanks for the tip!