Netflix has announced the arrival of its Smart Downloads feature for iOS, enabling customers with an iPhone or iPad will enjoy the same intelligent download management feature as Android and Windows 10 users. Apple device owners already had access to the video platform’s download feature for offline watching, but until now they’ve been required to manually delete and add content.
Netflix’s offline download feature is available for a large number of shows and movies on the platform, providing subscribers with a way to watch the videos when they’re away from a reliable Internet connection. Users can manually download a limited number of movies or TV show episodes, then remove them when they’re finished watching.
Smart Downloads builds upon this feature, taking over the management aspect so that users will always have offline access to the latest episodes of their favorite shows. The feature works by automatically downloading the next episode of a show when the user has finished watching the previous one.
The finished episode is automatically deleted, ensuring there is enough storage space for new content. The feature ensures the user always has a couple new episodes to watch after the one they finished, as well, so that there’s more than only one thing to watch if WiFi is unavailable to grab the next download.
Put simply, if the user downloads the first three episodes of a new show, then watches the first downloaded episode, Smart Downloads will delete the watched content and download the fourth episode, even though the user has only started to watch the second. This feature obviously only applies to episodic shows, not movies.