Netflix updates iPhone app to help curb data use

The leader in online video just updated its iPhone app.

There’s no question that Netflix can be a bit of a data hog. That’s not something you really worry about when you about at home because chances are you don’t have a data limit or the limit is so huge you’re never concerned with eclipsing it.

But it becomes a very real issue if you like to take your Netflix on-the-go. To prevent users from sucking up mobile data, Netflix is now letting users stream exclusively via WiFi.

That means if you’re in a place with a ‘remembered’ WiFi network on your iPhone, it’ll use that instead of your mobile data. And if you try to use Netflix in a place where you don’t have a WiFi connection, it simply will not play any videos.

Of course, this option is always adjustable so it’s something you could put in place near the end of the month if you’re nearing on on your data limit. But there’s another factor at play with this update.

See, Netflix has been getting pressured by Verizon and AT&T to take one for the team and pay for customers’ data usage from within the mobile apps.

That’s a pretty bold request from companies that decided to stop offering unlimited data to its customers. Now it’s able to make Netflix look like the bad guy if it doesn’t acquiesce. Clearly, though, the video streaming giant didn’t take the bait.

Whether or not it likes it, Netflix is at the center of a lot of hot-button issues in the technology space, ranging from privacy to customer service. The company has a lot on its shoulders, but somehow it keeps delivering.