Netflix has updated its Android app to make downloading episodes of its series a lot smarter and easier. For those who travel a lot or just prefer to download their content rather than streaming it, this is really good news.
In the past, downloading content to Netflix involved choosing what to download and then watching it. Then a subscriber could choose to download something else to watch. The download would stay in the downloads section of the app until the user deleted it. Considering that most users probably forget to delete the things they have already watched, this means that a lot of precious space on phones and tablets got taken up by those huge downloads. Users also needed to remember to download multiple episodes of shows to make sure they get to watch the next episode right after viewing the previous one.
Now, though, MSN reports Netflix updated its Android app to make downloading a lot easier and smarter. First, the app will automatically delete downloaded episodes of shows after a user watches them. Even better, though, is that the app will now automatically download the next episode of a show once the previous downloaded one gets watched. This only happens, though, when the user is on Wi-Fi so that data is not used in the process. Cameron Johnson, Netflix director of product innovation said:
"Downloading today is a very manual process, and most of the time people will only download a couple episodes of a show at a time. Whenever possible we want Netflix to do the work for you."
Although originally resistant to the idea of downloads, competitors offering similar services finally convinced Netflix to let subscribers download shows for when they are offline or when Wi-Fi is not available. The service became available in 2016 and it seems that Netflix now embraces it to the point that it wants to make it even easier for its subscribers to use. There are a few catches, though: The new smart downloads feature is only currently available on Android devices, though it's expected to be rolled out on the iOS app later this year. It is also limited to Netflix TV series that are already available for download. It doesn't apply to movies, specials or other separate programming.
Netflix banks on its original content more than anything. The streaming subscription service plans on spending $12-13 billion on original content in 2018 alone. That's more money than film studios spend. The company knows it has a good thing, though. A recent survey shows Netflix officially surpassed traditional and broadcast cable as the most popular way TV viewers watch content on television.
Netflix will continue to expand its services as long as people continue to subscribe. The company has taken on Hollywood and changed the way people watch television and movies, and it looks like there's no stopping the company from continuing to disrupt the entertainment industry.