Netflix Just Made Downloading Episodes a Lot Easier

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The announcement came via Director of Product Innovation Cameron Johnson on Netflix's blog. Once you connect to WiFi, Netflix will then automatically download the next episode of whatever series-let's say Frasier-you've been relentlessly bingeing. After all, you might not want to disconnect from that Wi-Fi network before your next episode is done. Nonetheless, the newly added functionality should make for a more straightforward experience for many users who don't want to go through the trouble of managing and downloading episodes manually.

Bottom line: Smart Downloads build on Netflix's already popular offline viewing mode, eliminating yet another friction point between eyes and content. The feature will only be available initially on Android phones and tablets, and is focused on episodic series, not movies or specials.

A download status bar will appear on the screen when a new episode is downloading, and users will be notified when the download is complete.

Smart Downloads can be turned off straight from the app's settings if you like. But as competitors like Amazon Prime Video began offering downloads, and as Netflix itself expanded internationally to markets where mobile connectivity wasn't as reliable as in the US, Netflix relented. Smart downloads aren't available for iPhone, but Johnson said the company hopes to update Netflix's iOS app sometime later this year to add them.

You download Season 1, Episodes 1-3.

The feature won't be all that useful if you don't download a couple of episodes in advance.