Smart Downloads, which Netflix launched for Android devices in July 2018, is now officially available for iOS devices as well.
With Smart Downloads, once you watched a downloaded television series episode, the next one in sequence will be automatically downloaded for you once you're on a Wi-Fi network, and the watched one will be deleted to free up space on your device. Typically, each episode would have to be manually downloaded, then manually removed from the device, or automatically expire after a defined period of time.
Subscribers can, if desired, turn Smart Downloads off by going to the My Downloads section and toggling it to "off; then going to Menu in your app settings, scroll down and select App Settings, and under Downloads, toggle Smart Downloads to "off."
It's a Smart feature for people like daily commuters who watch a single hour-long episode on the train to work every morning, for example. The next episode could automatically download once they get to the office, or home again that evening, and be ready for the next morning's commute. But for those who download content to watch on a plane or long commutes, they might wish to download several episodes at the same time to cover a four- or five-hour period, for example, where they won't be on Wi-Fi in between. In these such instances, an ideal option would be the ability to queue up an entire season's worth of episodes to download in one click, which is possible through rival services like Amazon Prime Video.
For Netflix, one of the biggest draws with Smart Downloads appears to be freeing up space on your devices. "We know how annoying it can be to go through all your apps and delete files you no longer need," writes Camera Johnson, Netflix's Director of Product Innovation in a blog post.
In addition to Android, and now iOS devices, Smart Downloads are also available for the Windows 10 Netflix app.