As first spotted by Android Police, the feature is currently only available on the Android Netflix app and allows users to play videos from 0.5x speed to 1.5x.
The feature is commonplace in podcast apps, and though it is offered by YouTube it is not regularly used by video service providers.
The company confirmed that it is testing this variable speed feature with a small selection of Android users. In a statement to Variety, a spokesperson said: “We’re always looking for new ways to help our fans enjoy content they love, so we’re testing playback speed options on mobile devices. Our tests generally vary in how long they run for and in which countries they run in, and they may or may not become permanent features on our service.”
Most recently, the company experimented with a pop-out player that allowed users to watch the video in a small box that hovers ahead of other applications.
Like Netflix’s comments on the latest development suggest, the pop-out player did not become a permanent feature, and it remains to be seen whether variable speed will prove to be a hit.
The initial report from Andoid police suggests that the lack of reports and lack of availability indicate that this may be a “limited server-side test.”
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20th January 2020