Netflix's Smart Downloads enable offline binge-watching

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Buzzfeed reports that if you're watching a series, the feature automatically deletes watched episodes, then downloads the next one in line. Since 2016, Netflix has allowed members to download content and watch it offline when there is no internet signal.

As Netflix tells it in their handy video explainer, this takes away the need to do not forget to download new episodes and delete the old ones. Not a great deal of friction, to be sure, but it was evidently enough that Netflix has developed a way to automate the process. "W$3 hen it comes to Netflix, the faster you can get to the next episode you want to watch, the better", Johnson wrote.

Smart Downloads deletes Season 1, Episode 1, and automatically downloads Season 1, Episode 4. That's right, the feature is coming to Android smartphones and tablets first.

The move is the latest evolution of Netflix's mobile experience, which has grown in importance since its first app launch in 2010. Episodes that are slightly longer won't take up more storage space, Netflix says, because of the way Netflix encodes, or converts the video, for mobile. Johnson emphasized that the Smart Downloads automatic refresh feature is optional. But the service can determine with "high confidence" that you'll probably want to continue watching a show you've downloaded.

Netflix is figuring out how to make TV work on your smartphone, where downloading a TV show can mean less room for selfies or devour your data plan.

It's limited to episodic TV series, not movies, standup specials or other kinds of programming.

This works even if you have more than one episode downloaded, as well.