Owners of iOS devices now also receive the Smart Downloads function with a delay of more than half a year. The Netflix app for Android has had smart downloads since July 2018. Anyone who uses Netflix offline TV series more often gets more comfort. Users can automate the process of downloading new episodes and deleting watched episodes.
Smart Downloads works as follows: the user downloads one or more episodes of a TV series. If he viewed an episode offline and reconnected to a Wi-Fi network, the next unreleased episode is automatically saved to the device. Then the already viewed sequence is removed from the device. The function never uses mobile internet.
It also works when only one episode of a series has been downloaded and viewed. If you want to see another episode on the go, you need to search for a Wi-Fi connection again. Therefore, it is advisable to install a small buffer – this is supported by the function. For example, if you download the first three episodes of a series and broadcast at least one offline, the fourth episode is automatically downloaded once you have a Wi-Fi connection.
Smart download only download one episode at a time. Users can not set two episodes of a series to be downloaded simultaneously. Especially for series with relatively short episodes it would be useful if Smart Download always loads multiple episodes simultaneously, as soon as there is a Wi-Fi connection.
At the end of 2016, Netflix launched the download function – more than a year after major competitor Amazon provided such offline functionality for Prime Video, even for non-Amazon devices. In early 2017, Netflix added the offline option to store content on a memory card.
Downloading a full season remains annoying
Netflix customers still have to accept that not all content in the subscription is available for offline storage. Netflix does not specify the percentage of content of a Netflix subscription that is available for download.
With the smart download function, the provider compensates for some loss of comfort when managing offline material. In addition, the Netflix app lacks a way to download a complete series or a whole season of a series at the touch of a button. The user must select each episode separately for the download to store on the device for an entire season.
There is a similar restriction when removing the material: it is possible to mark and delete multiple episodes of a series. However, there is no way to delete a full season or series from the device that was previously saved with one click. With the smart download function, these comfort losses are somewhat intercepted. Nevertheless, it is desirable that Netflix makes the management of offline content more comfortable.
Smart Download does not work with film series
The smart download function is generally only available for TV series. The mechanism does not work for film series. If you download the first part of Back to the future offline, you must also manually load the other two parts.
The smart download function is active for each of the three Netflix subscriptions. Smart Download can be deactivated in the app if desired. The download quality depends on the configuration of the offline feature in the app; there is no separate setting especially for smart downloads.
The Netflix app for iOS is available in the Apple App Store.
As early as December 2018, the new Netflix control system received iOS customers almost half a year later for more comfortable coils in films and series. Android users received the improved Netflix control in May 2018.