YouTube may do some questionable things every now and then, like changing their video settings user interface every 6th months, but for the most part Google likes to keep YouTube as a pretty high priority in their app lineup. Late last night, YouTube took to a blog post to announce a new feature that will be a welcome addition for video watchers on the go.
YouTube currently has a “Watch Later” playlist, but all that does is flag the video for preloading on your desktop or mobile device once you get to network signal. Last night it was announced that true offline viewing would be coming to the app finally. The new feature will allow people to preload the video onto their device so that “something as commonplace as a morning commute” wouldn’t get in their way. No official date for when we could expect this update, but we’re told to check back around November to see how this will all work out.
Update: Here are some additional details -
On the YouTube app, users will be able, through “add to device” functionality available on videos and playlists, to designate certain content that they can watch for a short period of time when an internet connection is unavailable. With this, if a user experiences a loss of connectivity, they will still be able to watch the videos that they’ve added to their device for a limited period of up to 48 hours. If the device is offline for more than 48 hours the content cannot be viewed offline until the device reconnects. Once connected, the offline window refreshes and the viewer is able to watch the content again.
How it works for viewers
From the watch page through the “add to device” functionality feature, viewers will be able to designate certain content that they can watch for a short period of time when they do not have connectivity. At the time when the user no longer has connectivity, they will be able to watch the videos and playlists they have added to their device by accessing the videos through an “on device” section of their guide.
Not the most revolutionary idea for an update, but a welcome one. Do you watch videos through YouTube’s mobile app often?