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Netflix brings ‘Smart Downloads’ feature to Android before iOS

The new Netflix "Smart Downloads" feature will make offline TV watching a snap. Too bad iOS users have to wait for it this time.

Published onJuly 10, 2018

Netflix helped video streaming end piracy
  • Netflix is rolling out a new feature called “Smart Downloads.”
  • The Smart Downloads feature will make the process of watching TV shows offline automatic.
  • The feature is only available for Android devices, with iPhone and iPad users having to wait.

It’s not often that Android users see app updates before iOS users. Usually, iOS and Android apps are updated at the same time, or iOS users get the new features first and Android users sometime later (we’re looking at you, Snapchat).

That’s not the case though with the new “Smart Downloads” feature Netflix is rolling out now to Android users. Unfortunately, iOS users won’t see the new feature for a while, with Netflix giving the timeframe for iPhones and iPads of “sometime later this year.”

Smart Downloads is a helpful tool for people who are watching a TV series on Netflix in offline mode. Previously, users would have to download a few episodes to their device, watch those episodes, delete those episodes, and then manually download a new set.

Skip those boring intros on Netflix with your Chromecast

With Smart Downloads, Netflix does the work for you. After you’ve downloaded and viewed an episode of a series, Netflix will delete the watched episode and download the next one automatically when you are next connected to Wi-Fi. After you watch that episode, Netflix will continue the trend.

Netflix isn’t clear about what happens when you watch the entirety of a show’s available episodes. We assume it will delete the final few episodes from your device and then simply not download anything after, but you’ll have to test it out to see if that’s true. It also could then automatically download the first episode of the next season when it airs, which could either be convenient or annoying, depending on how you look at it.

If for some reason you don’t want Netflix to do the deletion and downloading for you, Smart Downloads can be turned off. Just hit the hamburger menu icon, select App Settings, and then toggle Smart Downloads to the “off” position under the Downloads section.