Google’s latest YouTube app — YouTube Go — has been available in select countries for a few months now. Now, the company is looking to expand it massively — to more than a hefty 130 countries. The lightweight app allows users who have little internet bandwidth to watch videos offline while also being able to control their data.
The beta version was originally launched in September, and Google described it as an app “built from scratch” to bring YouTube to “the next generation of viewers” — people saddled with unstable internet connections. It’s specifically created to work with slow speeds and a small amount of storage.
“We realized that for the next generation of YouTube users to fully discover all that YouTube has to offer, we had to reimagine the YouTube mobile app from the ground up,” Johanna Wright, YouTube’s vice president of product management, wrote in a blog post. “[Indian viewers’] experience is not great on slower connections and less powerful mobile phones.”
For those who want to keep track of the data being used, YouTube Go includes data-saving features. You can choose to download or watch videos, as well as preview them before committing to a download. The app also allows you to choose how many megabytes you use on videos.
With YouTube Go, you have the option to download the videos to your phone or SD card, and you can watch them even if you have slow or no internet connection. You’re able to choose between basic quality, standard quality, and high quality before pressing play or choosing to download it.
Even with limited internet, videos should play without buffering, and downloading content will have no extra data cost. If you want to share with friends and family, transferring videos also uses no data.
Not all of YouTube Go’s features are new. In 2014, Google launched YouTube Offline, a setting within the YouTube app that lets users download videos. Smart Offline, which launched last year, automatically schedules downloads on days and times when networks are least congested.
Update: YouTube Go is expanding to more than 130 countries.
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