Netflix Debuts “Smart Downloads” Feature As Boost For Binges

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After making it possible for subscribers to download content in 2016, Netflix is making its download feature “smarter” and more binge-friendly.

The new “Smart Downloads” setup, announced today in a blog post, will automatically delete episodes that are viewed and then download the next episode once you are connected to WiFi. The feature will only be available initially on Android phones and tablets, and is focused on episodic series, not movies or specials.

“You watch, we do the work,” summed up the post, which is attributed to Cameron Johnson, Director of Product Innovation. “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.”

The move is the latest evolution of Netflix’s mobile experience, which has grown in importance since its first app launch in 2010. The company has been fine-tuning its user interface to improve the process of discovering new shows, adding a “coming soon” feature to Android devices. That feature showcases shows and movies that will be added to Netflix two weeks out, displaying them with trailers and text in a format that resembles a social media news feed.

Earlier in 2018, it added short trailers with a vertical orientation designed for the Snapchat generation, enabling subscribers to sample titles.

“We also want to emphasize that giving consumers more control over their entertainment experience is at the heart of everything we do,” Johnson wrote in the post.

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