Netflix has improved its episode downloading functionality with the launch of its new Smart Downloads feature. We spoke to Cameron Johnson, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix to get an idea of why this is the case. By automatically downloading the next episode and deleting the previous one, the feature ensures that the user's storage isn't affected, while automating the process of downloading TV show episodes.
The video-streaming giant finally caved to pressure back in 2016 when it allowed subscribers to download some movies and TV shows to watch offline. Called "smart downloads", the tool is meant to help users manage the Netflix content on their devices.
Sadly there's still no one-stop option to download an entire season of a show, so if you're stocking up on episodes for a long flight, or a trip out somewhere with poor mobile coverage, you'll still need to do it manually. The company has announced that an auto-download feature is available for the Android app from today, and will be added to the iOS app later in the year ... There are more details on how to use the Smart Downloads feature and you can read all about it here.
With "smart downloads", the Netflix mobile app automatically deletes episodes you've completed and replaces them with the next show in the series once your phone connects to Wi-Fi again. And smart downloads will progress into the next season of a series. Johnson said Netflix has a high degree of confidence that if you download and watch one episode of a TV show, you'll probably want another.
Netflix says the feature is mostly aimed at public transit commuters who may have limited or poor network coverage during their journey.