Netflix finally brings the long-overdue Smart Downloads feature to iOS users, making it easier to save and watch videos offline.
This update comes after the feature was first rolled out to Netflix for Android in July last year.
Netflix Smart Downloads
To activate Smart Downloads, download the latest version of the Netflix app for iOS. Once it's updated, open the app and go to My Downloads section. At the top of the page is the Smart Downloads option. From there, the feature can be activated through toggling it on and off.
Just like in the app's Android version, Netflix's Smart Downloads feature allows saving videos for offline viewing and then automatically deletes them once a user is done watching. If enabled, it also automatically downloads the next episodes if a device is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
As Netflix offline viewing eats up a good chunk of a device's local storage, turning on the Smart Downloads feature helps manage what needs to be deleted before downloading the next one so users won't have to manually go over the list of movies or episodes, therefore saving time and device storage.
Netflix initially planned to release the Smart Downloads to iOS users late last year, but it was delayed for a couple of months before it finally launched.
Netflix first introduced offline viewing in 2016, though it was reluctant to add the feature at first even when a lot of users urged the video-streaming company to do so. However, considering users in areas with slower internet connection and other rivals such as Amazon Video offering offline playback, the company finally gave in and included offline viewing for Netflix mobile apps.
Netflix also pointed out that while most of its viewers stream at home, it also wanted to expand its market by allowing mobile users easy access to their roster of videos through the offline playback feature.