Do you remember a time when Netflix was dead set against downloads? Neither does Netflix, as the streaming giant has not only added support for watching things offline, but has now introduced a new Smart Downloads feature to make it easier.
While Amazon added offline support back in 2015, Netflix dismissed talk of customers downloading things to stream on the move until it finally caved in 2016 and followed suit. Now, the company’s Director of Product Innovation, Cameron Johnson, has admitted that since then, “one thing has been clear – members love downloading and enjoying Netflix on the go”.
Now, Netflix is looking to leapfrog Amazon and lead the way, with the addition of Smart Downloads, a nifty new feature that automatically queues up episodes for offline bingeing. Activated when connected to Wi-Fi and reaching the end of a downloaded episode in a series, Smart Downloads will automatically download the next episode – and, without using any more storage than the last episode you watched, delete the previous downloaded episode and swap the new one in its place.
“We know how annoying it can be to go through all your apps and delete 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,” says Johnson. “We also want to emphasise that giving consumers more control over their entertainment experience is at the heart of everything we do, and members can choose when they want to use Smart Downloads.”
A status bar will pop up along with a notification to inform you when a Smart Download is happening, but you can turn off the feature in settings to download things manually, the old-fashioned way.
The only catch? Smart Downloads are currently only available on Android phones and tablets, rolling out across Google-powered devices from today. Here’s a video guide:
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