Netflix introduces ‘smart ‘ downloads’ on Android

(Credit: Netflix)

There is good news for Netflix subscribers who like to download TV shows to a mobile device to watch offline.

The streaming service introduces a new feature called Smart Downloads, which will automatically delete the last downloaded episode, you are finished with the view, then pick up the next in the series. That way you don’t have to worry about freeing space on your mobile device, or manually download the next episode.

Say that you have the download of three episodes of a series, for example. After you’re done with the view of the first, Netflix will automatically delete and download episode four, so it is ready when you are. Smart Downloads work over Wi-fi only, so it will not affect your data plan.


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At this point, the feature is only available on Android phones and tablets with the latest version of the Netflix app.

“We know how annoying it can be to go through all your apps and deleting files you no longer need; we also understand that when it comes to Netflix, the faster you can get to the next episode you want to watch, the better,” Netflix Director of Product Innovation Cameron Johnson wrote in a Tuesday blog post.

If you’d rather keep those old episodes on your device, so you can re-watch it later, you must disable Smart Downloads. To do that, tap the Menu icon (three vertical lines), scroll down and select ‘App Settings’, look for the Downloads section, then use the rocker switch to toggle Smart Downloads. You can also disable it in your Downloads section, tap the Downloads icon (the down arrow) for the option Smart Downloads from the top of the My Downloads section, and use the rocker switch to toggle Smart Downloads.

Netflix first introduced the ability to download content for offline viewing in 2016.

“The members of the love, download and enjoy Netflix on the go,” Johnson wrote. “Whether they are commuting, traveling or just in a place with expensive or poor access to the internet, the download feature makes it possible for our members to create their stories with them wherever they go.”

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