After unveiling the YouTube Go app in September last year, and then making the early testing version available to some users, Google has officially made the app available for download in India. Roughly 7MB in size, the app is still in ‘beta.’ It is specially developed to offer improved video streaming experience in areas with spotty network connectivity, especially on older 2G networks. Let’s take a look at its features, how it works, and everything else you need to know about YouTube Go app.
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Essentially, the app has two significant purposes to serve, one it allows offline viewing, and two it is meant to combat the data connectivity woes that users in India face. The app has been released in India, and will soon be rolled out to other emerging markets as well. Basically, now users have a new YouTube app, which will have the same content as the original app, however, on YouTube Go users will be able to preview videos when offline, share them with nearby friends when without data, and of course also download videos to watch when offline later. Also Read - Honor phones to come with Google Mobile Services: Report
Now, you would naturally say that the existing YouTube app already allows users to save videos offline and watch them later, even if there is no internet connection, so why YouTube Go? Well, the idea was to help users save their mobile data by allowing them to saving videos on Wi-Fi and then watch it later. The YouTube Go app improves this feature by letting users choose the resolution in which they want to watch or save the video, and also inform how much data will be consumed on different resolutions. If you are not sure what to expect from the video, the app will now give you a short preview of the entire video. Clicking on a video thumbnail will trigger the quick preview feature. So if you are data conscious, this app is for you. Also Read - Google announces six new Android features, which will roll out this year
To walk you through the app, go to Play Store and look up YouTube Go, the icon of the app is a red rocket. Install and launch the app, before you get started, you would need to login with your Gmail account. Once all that’s done, you’ll enter the app, and notice that it looks almost identical to the YouTube app you have been using all this while. Except, now before you play the video, a pop-up will appear on the screen, which will prompt you each time if you want to play the video in basic quality or standard quality, the size of both would differ with different videos.
After choosing the quality, you can either play the video or save it for offline viewing. Now, not every YouTube channel owner allows you to save their videos, therefore in case a video is not allowed to be saved, you would be prompted about that. Additionally, the little pop-up that lets you choose the quality you want to view the video in, also tells you how much empty space you have left on your device or you SD card.
Besides, the YouTube Go app is divided into two tabs, one is the Home Tab, which is the default tab, where you can surf the videos, and you see the suggestion, however, right next to it, you would see a Saved tab, which is where all you saved video go. When you move over to the Saved tab you will notice that you can also share the stored YouTube videos with other people via Wi-Fi Direct, so you won’t have to incur internet usage charges for streaming the same video again. For the ones who don’t know yet, Wi-Fi Direct is a standard, which enables devices to easily connect with each other without requiring a wireless access point.
Essentially, to share saved videos, all you have to do is make sure the Wi-Fi is switched on, on your device and the device of the person you intend to send the video to. Then next to the video you want to send, you would see an arrow pointing right, tap on that to send the video, and your device will start to hunt for other devices in your proximity. Make sure, the other person, goes up to their Saved tab and choose the receive option, so that your device can track them. Then that’s it, the transfer barely takes seconds, and its done.
Also, since one of the biggest aspects of the YouTube Go app is to combat the connectivity woes, we used the app on a 2G only connection, and the result wasn’t too great. Anyway, little slow, but the app did work fine, and the descriptive app size and saving features does serve a good purpose. We also used the app on our office Wi-Fi, and on that everything went pretty smooth. The app is swift, and the content is identical, and so no complaints there.
If you make up your mind to use the app too, let us know how your experience was in the comments below.