Next to the Netflix message that stops your stream to ask you if you're still watching, one of the more annoying things about the service is accidentally touching the display while you're watching something on the phone and having it skip around, but now with the screen lock feature that issue goes away.
Recently Netflix added a new feature to the phone application that lets you lock the screen. These new screen lock controls help prevent you from accidentally skipping around to a later or earlier part of your show or movie.
The feature is already live, so just about anyone should see it the next time they start streaming from the mobile app.
The Netflix screen lock controls pop up once you start streaming
There's no option to enable the lock controls from the settings menu or anywhere else inside the app. Save for the one place they should and do exist. Inside of a stream.
Once you start a show or movie, the on-screen controls will include the lock button. You can tap this and then Netflix will automatically remove all other controls from the screen. If you do happen to accidentally touch the display, the only button you'll see now is a button to unlock it.
On top of that, after tapping the unlock button you'll be met with a confirmation message. So there's a two-step process to unlock the display and bring all the other controls back. This includes the pause button though. So be weary that by locking up the screen, you won't be able to pause whatever you're watching in a pinch.
There's no need to update the app
According to 9To5Google this is a server-side change to the application. So with that being the case there's no need to update it or wait for an update to appear.
If the lock button isn't available for you, then it just comes down to a waiting game. As Netflix will just need to enable it for you from its end.
This might be the most useful feature added in a while
The Netflix app is in a good place. With a great UI and plenty of useful features now. This new lock button might be the most useful feature added in a while though.
While it's probably not common for most people to accidentally touch the screen and skip content, it surely does happen from time to time. Or there would have been no reason for Netflix to add this functionality in the first place.
Now that it's here, users everywhere can rejoice that streaming can continue in peace no matter how often you touch your phone screen.