Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Netflix's 'smart downloads' cue up your next offline episode automatically

Netflix's 'smart downloads' cue up your next offline episode automatically

"Downloading is a very manual process today", Netflix director of product innovation Cameron Johnson told BuzzFeed News. So if you finish watching a season finale on your commute into work, you can connect to your office Wi-Fi and the next season's premiere will be waiting for you on your ride home.

Downloading Netflix shows for offline viewing is going to get a little easier. Today, the streaming service is improving upon this capability by introducing smart downloads. This tells the Netflix application that you're now watching the season and they want to reduce the friction you may encounter from continuing the binge session.

However, it's first available only on Android devices.

The following video shows you Smart Downloads at work, while this help page should provide more information on how to make it work on your mobile device.

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Smart Downloads will need to be switched on through the Netflix app settings, and can also be switched off in case you prefer to download and manage your TV shows the old fashioned way.

Netflix isn't clear about what happens when you watch the entirety of a show's available episodes. So a user with the first three episodes of a show downloaded will have the first deleted and the fourth installed after watching the initial content.

Users can disable the new feature if they want to keep the episodes they have watched on their device. And by deleting the just-finished episode, you won't be eating up all your phone's storage space. Say you download episodes 1-3 of season one.

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