No need to go through your files to weed out downloaded shows anymore. Netflix has made it much simpler to manage downloads on mobile -- in fact, you don't have to worry about purging watched episodes anymore. The streaming giant has launched "smart downloads" for Android, which automatically deletes downloaded episodes you've already seen. Even better, it instantly replaces an old episode by downloading the next one. The feature can help ensure that you don't unwittingly fill your storage, especially if you don't have an SD card for expansion. Netflix says launching smart downloads is part of its efforts to make the mobile experience more intuitive, and it designed the feature with your data cap in mind. The feature only kicks in if you're connected to the internet via WiFi, so you don't have to tinker with the app to make sure that it won't download anything while you're on mobile data. If you'd rather keep shows stored in your phone to watch again and again, though, you can switch off smart downloads in settings anytime. The feature is now live for Android phones and tablets. Unfortunately, it's unclear if it's also making its way to iPhones and iPads, but we asked the company and will let you know once we find out.
Netflix is rolling out a new smart downloads feature designed to make offline viewing just a little bit easier. The video-streaming giant finally caved to pressure back in 2016 when it allowed subscribers to download some movies and TV shows to watch offline. But the problem with the feature as it stood was that you had to manually download each episode in a series. Not a great deal of friction, to be sure, but it was evidently enough that Netflix has developed a way to automate the process. With smart downloads, Netflix will automatically delete an episode when a user finishes watching it and then download the next one. We know how annoying it can be to go through all your apps and delete files you no longer need; we also understand that when it comes to Netflix, the faster you can get to the next episode you want to watch, the better, said Netflix director of product innovation Cameron Johnson. Its worth noting here that smart downloads will only work on a Wi-Fi connection, and if you dont want Netflix tampering with your downloads, youll need to toggle the feature off in the My Downloads section — yes, its turned on by default. Additionally, the feature is only available on Android devices for now, though it is safe to assume it will be landing on iOS in the foreseeable future.