The Morning After: Netflix finally ends the auto-play nightmare

Richard Lawler
Senior News Editor
Richard Lawler / Engadget

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

About five years ago, Netflix revamped its streaming apps and rolled out the worst feature it's ever developed. Even if you like it, you know which one I'm talking about -- bringing video playback "forward" to make things more like cable TV. At first, pulling up a show or movie and pausing for a moment too long would cause it to start playing. Then, simply highlighting a selection while scrolling meant it would start playing the trailer, or worse, playing a section of the movie backed by some random stock music Netflix pulled from somewhere.

It made casually browsing the service's catalog a nightmare, but for whatever reason -- I assume there was some analytical data showing it increased viewing -- Netflix refused to change it. Since then, competitors like Disney+ and HBO Max have highlighted the "feature" as something they chose not to copy, and now, at long last, Netflix is providing a way to turn it off. You'll need to pull up the Manage Settings page in your browser and disable AutoPlay Preview, but by pressing that one button, things can go back to the way they should've been all along. Was that really so hard, Netflix?

-- Richard

The pre-MWC event takes place on February 11th.What to expect from Samsung's Galaxy S20 event

Next week, we're expecting Samsung will reveal new Galaxy S-series phones alongside a clamshell Z Flip foldable. The company may also provide us with a release date for the Galaxy Home. Here's everything we know so far about the products Samsung will likely announce at the event.

Where'd you go on your last trip?Christina Koch returns to Earth after a record 328 days in space

After 328 days in space, NASA astronaut Christina Koch is back on Earth. She returns holding the record for the longest stay in space by a woman, and she has earned bragging rights for another major milestone: She and fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir completed the first all-female spacewalk during Koch's extended stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

It still worked, but not well.Motorola Razr's hinge 'broke' after 27,000 folds in durability test

CNET put the new Motorola Razr to the test by folding it repeatedly thousands of times using a machine called Foldbot. The result? Its hinge started acting wonky (making noises and showing resistance) by around 27,000 folds.

This plane flies itself at about 20km above the ground.Remember Alphabet's LTE-broadcasting balloons?

Loon teamed up with Softbank to put its wireless tech in this drone, which is now ready to serve as a cell tower that flies in the stratosphere.

Many companies have extended their holiday break.Coronavirus outbreak affects Nintendo Switch supply in Japan

As the noble coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, more tech companies are having their operations affected. Nintendo cited production delays for Switch hardware headed to Japan, including this new Animal Crossing-themed model, while a port of The Outer Worlds for Switch has also been delayed.

Memes in traffic.Ford's biking jacket shows emoji to everyone behind you

To bolster road safety, Ford came up with a way to help cyclists communicate: a jacket that displays emoji. The prototype has an LED display on the rear, which is linked to a wireless remote attached to the handlebars. Cyclists might use it to display turn signals, a hazard symbol or just their current mood.

But wait, there's more...

The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you'll miss if you don't Subscribe.

Craving even more? Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

Have a suggestion on how we can improve The Morning After? Send us a note.