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Netflix rolls out feature that will auto-download shows for users based on what they watch

Netflix is rolling out a Downloads for You feature that will download shows based on users' preferences once they are connected to WiFi, and have selected storage from 1GB, 2GB, and 5GB.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | February 23, 2021 | Updated 12:11 IST
(Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • The Downloads for You feature is currently available only for Android users and on mobile devices.
  • Users have to go to the Downloads tab and turn the toggle on for the "Downloads for You" option.
  • Netflix already has a Smart Downloads option that saves users' time by downloading the next episode of what they are watching when connected to WiFi.

Streaming giant Netflix is rolling out a feature that will auto-download shows and movies for users based on their viewing history and what they watch. The feature named "Downloads for You" is currently available for Android users globally and only on mobile. However, users can cast the downloaded shows on a nearby TV. According to the company, it will start testing the feature on iOS soon. Now, to enable the feature, users will have to opt-in or turn on the Downloads for You toggle for the first time.

We could not spot the Downloads for You feature on Android at the time of writing this article. However, if you are an Android user connected to WiFi, it should appear to you soon. To access the Downloads for You option, users have to go to the Downloads tab on their mobile device and toggle on Downloads For You. The next step is to select the storage based on the amount of content users want to download to their device.

Once users opt-in and enable the feature for the first time, they will get the option to select how much storage space they want to dedicate to content from Netflix. They can select from 1GB, 3GB, or 5GB for the recommended downloads. The 'Downloads For You' feature will auto-download shows once users are connected to WiFi. According to TechCrunch, the feature will download the first few episodes of a show to help get users started and essentially will contain a "mix of recommendations." Users can also cast the downloaded content to a nearby TV, where the shows will stream directly from their phone.

Netflix will determine what its users want to watch by going through their Netflix watch history. This is one step further than just displaying suggestions for users. The Downloads for You feature will also come in handy to users who want to get access to more offline content on the go.

"Today we're launching Downloads For You, a new feature that automatically downloads recommended shows or movies to your mobile device based on your tastes. Whether you're a comedy fan stuck on a long car ride or a rom-com lover without internet, we do the work so there is always something new waiting to entertain and delight you," Patrick Fleming, director of product innovation, Netflix in a statement noted. Netflix has noted that along with its original content and full catalog will be available for download. However, some titles with licensing restrictions will not be available to users for download.

Netflix also features smart downloads that were launched three years back and help users save time by getting the next episodes downloaded and deletes the ones they have already watched. This feature works only on WiFi and users can turn the toggle on for smart downloads by going to their Netflix app: Downloads > Smart downloads. Users can also tweak settings by going to the app settings. Currently, Netflix gives suggestions to users based on what is popular on the platform, what user's watched most recently, and Netflix originals. It also categorises shows based on TV Comedies, Casual viewing, TV SciFi, and Horror among others.


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