If you have enabled the feature, Smart Downloads will delete episode you have finished watching and automatically begin downloading the next episode in a series, says the company on its website. The feature is triggered when you download an episode or two of a TV show that you're now watching. Once you connect to your office WiFi, Netflix will delete the episodes you've already watched and seamlessly download the next one in the background. This in turn means that you will have something to watch on your phone or tablet even if you don't have good cellular coverage.
Smart Downloads is rolling out now for Android users, and will be available soon for those with an iOS powered device.
"Downloading today is a very manual process, and most of the time people will only download a couple episodes of a show at a time", Cameron Johnson, a director of product innovation at Netflix, said last week in a briefing.
Smart downloads are one-for-one. Users should make sure that they've updated to the latest version of the Netflix Android app in order to start using Smart Downloads. We assume it will delete the final few episodes from your device and then simply not download anything after, but you'll have to test it out to see if that's true.
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Note that the Smart Downloads feature is activated only when you're using Wi-Fi, and not on cellular connectivity.
It's limited to episodic TV series, not movies, standup specials or other kinds of programming.
If for some reason you don't want Netflix to do the deletion and downloading for you, Smart Downloads can be turned off.
Netflix Android app now includes new Smart Downloads feature.