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Netflix auto-download for offline watching hits Android today
10 July 2018, 07:16 | Regina Holmes
Never stop binging
Netflix is rolling out a new "smart downloads" feature created to make offline viewing just a little bit easier.
It's worth noting here that smart downloads will only work on a Wi-Fi connection, and if you don't want Netflix tampering with your downloads, you'll need to toggle the feature off in the My Downloads section - yes, it's turned on by default. But as competitors like Amazon Prime Video began offering downloads, and as Netflix itself expanded internationally to markets where mobile connectivity wasn't as reliable as in the US, Netflix relented.
Netflix has improved its episode downloading functionality with the launch of its new Smart Downloads feature.
Netflix wants to start keeping your downloads fresh for you.
The tool, which users can turn on or off, only downloads episodes when your phone is connected to wifi (to avoid eating up customers' data plans) and there's a new episode to replace the one you've already watched.
Essentially, Netflix subscribers will now have increased control over their entertainment experience and the Smart Downloads feature is entirely optional to use.
However, it's first available only on Android devices. This also allows for downloading movies or TV shows on just one phone or tablet.
"You watch, we do the work", summed up the post, which is attributed to Cameron Johnson, Director of Product Innovation.
Netflix resisted downloads for years, banking on the idea that streaming accessibility would eventually reach the point that downloading to watch offline wouldn't be necessary anymore.
Smart Downloads can be turned off straight from the app's settings if you like.
It's limited to episodic TV series, not movies, standup specials or other kinds of programming.
The feature is flawless for those who love binge watching TV shows, don't want to burn through their data allowance, and certainly do not like the process of going through the download process manually.
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