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Netflix Keeps You Updated With Android-Only ‘Smart Downloads’ Feature

Downloading your favourite episodes on Netflix is a pretty manual process, especially if you follow multiple shows at the same time. To solve this pesky problem, Netflix has introduced a new Smart Downloads feature, limited to Android users at present.

The new Smart Downloads feature on Netflix Mobile can be toggled on or off. Image: Ian Ling

Downloading has been made available on Netflix since November 2016 despite initial resistance, banking on the projected ubiquity of streaming and network infrastructure.

The premise behind Netflix’s Smart Downloads is simple. If you download three episodes at a time, Smart Download will sense when you’re on a Wi-Fi network to delete the episodes you’ve watched, and replace the same number of watched episodes with unwatched ones.

This means that if you’re travelling or going somewhere without good Wi-Fi coverage, you could stock up with plenty of episodes and watch what you want. When you connect to a Wi-Fi network, Netflix will ensure you are fully topped-up and able to subsist on a full complement of episodes.

Netflix suggests that the feature will come to iOS by the end of the year. Smart Downloads only affects TV serials on Netflix and does not extend to other content available on the platform that does not come in episodes. Netflix suggests that its users usually continue watching subsequent episodes after the first one, which makes the new feature such a smart one.

This move will not extend to movies and other content, as Netflix does not want to impose its personalisation system on users and wants them to choose for themselves.


Ian Ling
Ian is the resident Tech Monkey and Head of Content at VR Zone. His training in Economics and Political Science is at the basis of his love for journalism and storytelling. A photographer by passion, and an audiophile by obsession, Ian is captivated by all forms of tech that makes enthusiasts tick.

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