Are you watching movies on your phone?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: August 3, 2011

Our smartphones are literally a bastion of features. Have you ever had a discussion with someone, and they’ve revealed to you that their phone is “way too much for them?” That, despite having a manual and plenty of time to play around with the device and learn all of its neat little tricks and secrets, that there’s just so much stuff, the phone is still too much. That’s pretty cool, if you ask me, especially considering how small these things are getting. But, while there’s been plenty of discussion about the battery life on our favorite devices, which takes a heavy hit thanks to all those cool tricks and features, what about the things we do on our phones? Specifically, what about watching a movie on our phone? Does anyone even do that?

I think that there’s probably a few of you out there who have a movie (or maybe two or three) on your phone. Whether it’s your favorite flick, one that you haven’t seen yet, or just one that is great for passing time, it is just sitting on your phone’s memory taking up space. I’m that way. I’ve currently got two movies on my phone right now, and I can honestly say that I have no idea when I’ll likely watch them. I don’t have any trips planned right now, so it’s not like I’m going to be on the move much, where watching a movie on my phone makes sense.

Having a movie actually downloaded onto your phone isn’t something to question, in all honesty. It’s just like having music or music videos on there. While listening to music isn’t all that invasive, especially when compared to watching a movie, it’s still the same idea. Having it ready to watch whenever you get the chance. Maybe you like watching a movie in snippets, just taking in as much as you can, when you can.

But, when you put a movie streaming service on your phone like Netflix that says to me that you watch movies a lot. So much so, in fact, that you’ve got a service that drops as many as you want, whenever you want, right on your lap. There was a time when having Netflix on my phone didn’t make much sense, or anyone’s phone for that matter. Watching a full-length movie on that small of a screen just seemed painful and distracting; and let’s not forget that in today’s market, unlimited data is starting to become a thing of the past.

I’m someone who’s switched over to the Netflix-on-a-phone side, and I haven’t looked back since. I don’t use it as much as I would probably like, and more often than not I see the application there and wonder if I should remove it, but then it happens. I’m sitting there, in between meetings or something, and I bring up my phone, put my headphones on, and start streaming a movie. That works for me, even if it isn’t the optimal time to watch it, and I know I’m probably not going to finish it right then and there.

Obviously, people want services like Netflix on their devices. It’s a high-demand application, as was made evident by the fact that so many people raised their voices at the launch of Netflix for Android, and its utter lack of device support. People want the app, and people want the ability to have movies on their phone, even if having the time to watch them may not be optimal all the time. So perhaps changing the question a bit is necessary. Instead of asking you if you are watching movies on your phone, maybe the question should be something like, “When and where do you find the time to watch movies on your phone?”

Both questions work, really. And I think the question is perfectly aimed at those who are currently on a network who doesn’t offer unlimited data. If you downloaded Netflix on your phone, do you still have it downloaded and do you still use it? And I don’t mean when you’re near a WiFi connection, either. As for the rest, when do you find the time to watch a movie on your phone? Trips? Or do you use your lunch breaks to catch up on your favorite TV shows (from Netflix), or watch a scene or two of your favorite flick? Let me know in the comments below.