The feature to manually download movies and shows offline from Netflix on an iOS device has been around for a while now. However, early last year, Android received a feature called ‘Smart Downloads’, which automatically downloads new episodes of the series you are watching while deleting the ones that you downloaded and already viewed. Pretty convenient right? iOS users have unfortunately been missing this feature. Until now.
In its latest blog post, Netflix has announced that the same feature is now rolling out to both iPhone and iPad users.
Essentially, the Smart Downloads feature allows you to let Netflix take care of the downloads for the show you are binging on. You can, of course, turn the feature on and off manually, whenever you want.
To enable the feature, hit the Download button for whichever episode you want to download. When you do that you will see a pop-up asking if you want to turn on the Smart Downloads option, if you want, go ahead and enable it.
Be rest assured that the Smart Downloads will queue your next episodes to view on download only when you are connected to a Wi-Fi so that it doesn’t eat up all your cellular data.
Also, you don’t have to worry about device storage since with the feature, the last watched episode in a series is always removed before the next unwatched episode in the series is downloaded.
Notably, this feature isn’t meant for people who like to rewatch a series anytime without streaming or re-downloading episodes, since it automatically deletes viewed episodes before downloading new shows. If you belong in that category, probably Smart Downloads isn’t such a great feature for you and it should be kept off.
But what’s in this for Netflix, you ask? Well, this possibly gives Netflix the power to nudge you to watch more of its shows — read, binge-watch. It also gives Netflix a lot of data about viewing patterns, as well as download patterns of users. And all this, while ensuring that you are happy to find all your to-watch episodes ready to view in your device.