Picture this: You arrive at the airport only to discover Friends never fully downloaded to your computer. What on earth will occupy your time during the six-hour, middle-seat flight that lies ahead? Cue Netflix’s latest feature: Smart Downloads.
Netflix just revamped its existing software to make downloading TV shows and movies easier than ever. Basically, the streaming software will now delete watched content and download new episodes for you. Still confused? Here’s what you need to know.
Let’s say you’re watching season one of The Sinner. Once an episode is deemed “watched,” Netflix will automatically delete it from your queue and download the next episode. Oh, and don’t worry about racking up a massive data bill due to the new feature. It only works when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, which means you’ll need to sync your device before going offline.
According to Cameron Johnson, Netflix’s director of product innovation, the update was a longtime coming. “We’ve been asking ourselves how can we make this better and there was one pretty obvious way,” he said in a statement. “Today, downloads is a very manual process—every time you want to download episodes you have to download them one at a time, and then when you’ve watched an episode, you have to go back and delete it and download the next one.”
Unfortunately, there’s one small caveat. The Smart Downloads feature is currently only available via the Netflix app on Android phones and tablets. Nevertheless, Johnson is hoping to expand to iOS devices later this year. (#Bless)
So, if you aren’t afraid to admit that onboard Wi-Fi is unreliable AF, be sure to keep an eye out for this brand-new feature that was practically made for binge-watchers.