Netflix is still the king of video streaming but, let’s face it, not everyone can actually afford to be streaming all the time. Internet connectivity is still not a constant and buffering during streaming can easily ruin the mood. That’s why even the streaming king embraces downloading videos and its latest upgrade to that feature can make Netflix feel either smarter or more intrusive, depending on what it thinks you might like.
Netflix already has a Smart Downloads feature but it is more reactive than proactive in some sense. Yes, it will download videos for you without you having to ask it to but it only downloads the next episodes in shows you’re already watching. In other words, it won’t presume anything other than what it knows you’re already enjoying or at least following.
The new Downloads For You, on the other hand, is more like a combination of Smart Downloads and Recommendations. It will automatically download videos and TV shows to your phone but based on your tastes as determined by Netflix’s algorithms. If you mostly agree with the recommendations Netflix has been flinging at you, you might have no issues with this preemptive feature.
If, on the other hand, you don’t like the idea of Netflix downloading unknown videos behind your back, the good news is that it is completely optional and not even enabled by default. You’ll have to actually turn it on first and then decide how much space you’re willing to set aside for downloads. You might also want to take note of download settings in case you don’t want it to download when you’re on mobile data.
Netflix says that this feature will help in discovering new things you might enjoy without stressing over whether you have the bandwidth to check it out. This feature is rolling out to Android first with iOS starting its testing phase soon.