The ability to download Netflix movies and series for offline watching is one of its best features — not so much for those who are running out of storage on their devices, though.
Yes, stockpiling content for later viewing is great and all, but what if there's simply no more memory to store them in? Thankfully, Netflix will start automating downloads going forward so users can binge-watch shows without having to worry about needing extra space.
Check Out The New Smart Downloads Feature On Netflix
The feature, called Smart Downloads, automatically deletes an episode after the user finishes watching it. It then downloads the next one as long as there's a stable Wi-Fi network. The feature takes away the dullness of having to constantly delete and download content manually just to get around limited storage.
"Downloading is a very manual process today," said Netflix's Director of Product Innovation Cameron Johnson, as BuzzFeed News reports. "And you have to manually go back and delete episodes."
Why This Feature Is A Godsend
So how is this feature useful, exactly? Well, imagine that a user downloads a couple of the latest episode of their favorite show at home and then watches them during the commute to work. Once they arrive at the office — and assuming they have a steady Wi-Fi connection there — Netflix will automatically remove the episodes they just finished and downloads the next one. It all happens without any intervention, by the way, meaning the user can just enjoy watching episode after episode.
Netflix says Smart Downloads works with all the shows available for offline downloading, although it's not integrated with movies yet. That's because Netflix isn't intelligent enough to predict which movie a user will want to watch next, according to Johnson.
The feature is now live on Netflix for Android, while the iOS version of the app will get it "later this year."
Smart Downloads is just an optional feature, it should be noted. Users can disable it completely by going to the Netflix app's Settings menu. People who are nearly always within range of strong Wi-Fi networks probably won't find this feature that useful, but on-the-go folks will most definitely consider it another godsend functionality for their binge-watching habits. That being said, it's probably better to get larger microSD cards next time, especially for phones that support expandable storage.
Thoughts about Smart Downloads? Will it do wonders for your binge-watching? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!