YouTube has finally added the ability to watch its videos offline, but there are a couple of major caveats.
For one thing, the ability is only available on YouTube’s Android app for now. That’s perhaps understandable given that Google owns both platforms.
But the biggest constraint here is that the feature is only available in a handful of Asian territories.
The company has taken to its Asia Pacific Blog to announce the exciting new feature for India, Indonesia and the Philippines only. But why these areas first, you might be wondering?
“Asia has proven itself to be a mobile-first world in terms of smartphone adoption, but access to high-speed, affordable data remains a big challenge,” explains Google product manager Jay Akkad. “In response, we’ve been working on ways to lessen the demands of speed and data for people using our products in places where there are challenges to access.”
Android phones in these markets can now take selected videos offline by tapping an offline icon and selecting the required quality. Once this step has been taken and the video has been cached, it can be played back without an internet connection for up to 48 hours.
As for when the rest of the world will get to see this feature, there’s no mention as yet.
For now, we’ll have to make do with a freshly redesigned YouTube Android app that adopts Google’s new Material Design.
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