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Netflix is testing a viewing timer, so you can sleep in peace

If you like to – or are prone to – falling asleep in front of the Netflix series of the moment, finding where you were before entering the land of nod can be difficult.

Now, instead of ending up four episodes down the line and trying to pinpoint the last thing you remember seeing, Netflix is testing a viewing timer feature that’ll shut down streaming after a time period of your choosing.

The feature, which is rolling out globally for users on Android devices right now, enables viewers to set 15-minutes, 30-minutes, 45-minutes or “finish watching” the episode to call a halt to the best Netflix shows, whatever the scenario.

The feature will be helpful if you have auto-play enabled, but will also ensure the Android smartphone or tablet doesn’t burn through data or battery life if you drift off with a bedside mobile device. Eventually, we see the feature being just as useful on TVs, but that rollout will come later.

Here’s how it works:

  • Choose & play your favorite show / movie
  • In the upper right corner, you will find a ‘Timer’/ clock icon – click on it
  • You will be prompted to set 15,30,45 mins or Finish Show
  • Voila, sit back and relax

In a statement to Trusted Reviews, a Netflix spokesperson was keen to point out, this is more than just a sleep timer. For example, it can be used as a parental control or if you just want to watch a little bit of something before getting out of bed and getting ready for work. It could also be used as a workout guide. Once that half an hour is up, you can step off the treadmill. Phew.

The Netflix spokesperson says: “We’re always looking for new ways to improve the Netflix mobile experience. 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. We experiment with these types of tests and will only roll the feature out more broadly if we find it improves the member experience.”

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