Netflix introduces Smart Downloads for TV Shows on iOS

Netflix has launched a new ‘Smart Downloads’ feature for iOS. The app will automatically download new episodes of a previously downloaded TV show and delete the older episodes. The feature works only when connected to Wi-Fi, therefore, users do not have to worry about the app consuming mobile data. Users may think of this feature as an automatic download manager. 


The company claims that the downloads feature has been a big success and subscribers love the ability to watch their shows on the go, anywhere and anytime. Now the company has taken the next step by making that very feature ‘smarter’. “You watch, we do the work.”

How to use Smart Downloads for TV Shows in Netflix

  • Within the Netflix app go to App Settings
  • Activate Smart Downloads
  • Download and episode and watch it. Once it is complete, the app will automatically delete it and download the next episode over Wi-Fi.

Users will be notified of the new downloaded episode via push notification. Note that this feature only works for TV shows, not for movies.

Netflix Smart Downloads

We believe that this feature is truly smart and will change the offline dynamics. Many other videos streaming apps, like YouTube, have download to play offline functionality (in select countries) but not like this. Smart Downloads has multiple uses. It saves time and takes the hassle out of manually downloading new episodes and erasing older videos. By automatically erasing viewed episodes, the app saves a ton of storage space from user’s devices. Automatically download the episodes over Wi-Fi also saves time and cellular data for users.

It’ll be great if YouTube releases a similar feature for their app. Users would love to have the latest videos from their channel subscriptions automatically downloaded offline. Even though YouTube has official offline downloading support in some countries, it is unlikely that they will release such a feature for their global audience as it would have a major impact on their ad revenue.

Smart Downloads feature was initially launched for Android in July 2018. With the release of this feature on iOS, Smart Downloads is now available across all platforms: iOS, Android and Windows 10. This reflects on the company’s expansion plans to gain and cater to subscribers on various operating systems.

Earlier this month, Netflix iOS app received support for Instagram stories.