The Child, popularly known as “Baby Yoda,” is a character in the new Disney+ series, “The Mandalorian”
Episodic Photos, Disney
Disney+, the $6.99-a-month streaming video service from entertainment giant Disney, launched on November 12.
I’ve been using it since then and there’s a lot to like. But there are also a few areas where Disney+ can improve the experience for users, including through security and by adding new features that would improve controls and how users find content.
Here are some thoughts on Disney+, including what’s good and what can be improved.
What’s good: Great material at a fair price
A scene from “The Mandalorian,” an original Star Wars TV series that will stream on Disney+.
Disney+ has a ton of content, including a lot movies and TV shows that millennials and GenX grew up with and haven’t watched in years. It offers a chance for us to rewatch that content and share it with a new generation of youngsters.
I love that I can easily pull up original Mickey Mouse films, popular animated films like “Beauty and The Beast,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the original “Lady and the Tramp” and “Peter Pan.” Then there’s the whole Star Wars series and a bunch of earlier Star Wars TV shows, which I have yet to dive in to. In all, there are about 7,000 TV episodes and 500 films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox and National Geographic.
My favorite, though, is “The Mandalorian,” Disney’s new Star Wars show. I’ve watched the first two episodes and I’m hooked. It’s fun and exciting and brings some of the magic of Star Wars films to the small screen. If you haven’t watched it yet, you should. Plus, it’s got this little fella:
I love that you can download content in various quality settings (to save space) to your phone or tablet for watching on the go. And you can download either over Wi-Fi or cellular, so you can save a movie quickly on the plane before your flight takes off if you don’t have Wi-Fi.
Best of all, it works: I haven’t had any issues with dropped streams or loss of quality. I don’t have those problems with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ or Hulu, either, but I have sometimes run into problems with other streaming services.
Disney+ costs $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. It’s more affordable than Netflix, which costs $8.99 per month for the basic plan but more if you want to watch on up to 4 screens at the same time, which is included in the Disney+ entry-level price. Also, Disney+ sells a bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month. You can save money if you buy all three, since ESPN+ normally costs $4.99/month and Hulu with ads costs $5.99/month.
My guess is Disney+ will raise the price in a year or two after people flock to it, but for now it’s still the best deal out there.
The Disney+ (Plus) logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.
Rafael Henrique | LightRocket | Getty Images
Finally: Disney+ is one of the easiest apps to set up on third party devices like the Amazon Fire TV. Instead of having to jump through hoops to enter in your username and password in a web browser, or attempt to type it out with an on-screen keyboard on the Fire TV, you just open the Disney+ app and you’re logged in. It’s a breeze, and other apps should follow suit.
What could be better: Controls, security
In this photo illustration, the Disney + logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple MacBook Pro computer on November 08, 2019 in Paris, France.
Chesnot | Getty Images
Disney+ isn’t perfect. There are some areas where it can improve the user experience.
For one, there’s no option to dive in to shows or movies and continue watching where you left off. Instead, you need to search and find the show again. Disney+ should add an area called “Continue Watching” like other competitors, including Netflix. It’s just more user friendly.
Also, some of my colleagues have pointed out that, unlike other streaming services, you can’t simply pause the stream by tapping the space bar on a computer. Disney should add this, since it’s a pretty widespread use-case for people who stream on computers.
A bunch of Disney+ passwords were being sold on the dark web recently, but Disney says it wasn’t hacked. Instead, this is probably the result of people reusing passwords that were already compromised. Disney could reduce the chances of this by adding two-factor authentication, which would send you a code to a phone to verify that it’s actually you who is logging in.
There’s a reason this may not exist yet: Disney basically tolerates password-sharing today, as the service is new and it believes people who sample Disney+ will eventually pay for it, according to an interview with The Verge. Adding two-factor authentication would make password-sharing harder.
Should you sign up for Disney+?
SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
There’s a 7-day free trial, so it’s a no-brainer. It’s worth just checking out to see what’s available, especially if you (like me) enjoy all of the old content that you might have once owned on VHS but long ago lost. I think it’s worth paying for once you get past the trial: Disney did a great job here with lots of content you can download, original shows like “The Mandalorian” and simple setup. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest streaming services out there.
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