Netflix finally adds smart download feature to iOS apps

Netflix remote control image
Netflix originally introduced the smart downloads feature for Android devices in July 2018. (Pixabay/Creative Commons)

Netflix has finally added the smart download feature to its iOS apps after debuting it for Android in July last year.

The feature deletes a downloaded episode when a user finishes watching and then automatically downloads the next episode. The feature only kicks in when a device is connected to a Wi-Fi network.

“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,” wrote Cameron Johnson, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix, in a blog post.

Netflix originally introduced the smart downloads feature for Android devices in July 2018 and said that the feature would arrive on the iOS app sometime later in 2018. The feature is also available for Windows 10 devices.

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The updated feature arrives after Netflix finally enabled downloads for offline viewing in late 2016.

“While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where the Internet is expensive or limited. Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection,” wrote Eddy Wu, director of product innovation for Netflix, in a blog post.

Amazon Prime Video and CBS All Access also allow users to download content, and Hulu said last year in May that it would soon add the feature.

“Our launch of the industry’s first ad-supported downloadable content experience is yet another example of how Hulu is innovating viewer-first ad solutions to drive powerful results for brands,” said Peter Naylor, senior VP of advertising sales at Hulu, in a statement. “With downloadable content, we're offering brands more ways to connect with engaged viewers who love the experience of watching television, wherever they may be.”