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Winners and Losers: Android gets a space-saving update as YouTube locks SharePlay behind a paywall

It’s time for us here at Trusted Reviews to name our winner and our loser of the week from the world of tech. 

This week was an interesting one for gamers as Asus unveiled its latest series of gaming phones headed by the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate and Ubisoft+ finally rolled out on Xbox consoles

Meanwhile, over in the States, HBO announced that it would be merging its HBO Max streaming service with Discovery+ to launch a new entertainment service simply called Max

This week’s winner and loser both sit under Google, with the brand’s Android OS earning our winner title and its video streaming platform YouTube falling behind as our loser. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Winner: Android 

This week, Google announced an update to its Android operating system designed to help users save some valuable storage on their smartphones. 

The feature, called ‘auto-archive’, allows users to automatically archive and offload apps from their phones. This frees up to 60% of the storage space that the app had previously taken up on that device without discarding or losing any important data. 

To reinstall the app, all users need to do is tap the app’s icon once again. 

According to Google Play product managers Chang Liu and Lidia Gaymond, one of the main reasons users uninstall apps is to free up space on their devices. It seems auto-archive is designed to appease developers by offloading infrequently used apps automatically, saving users space to prevent them from deleting those apps entirely. 

Auto-archive isn’t exactly a novel idea. Apple has actually included the feature with its iOS and iPadOS devices since the launch of iOS 11 back in 2017. 

However, it is something that has been sorely lacking from Android phones and is sure to make a noticeable difference for users low on space that don’t want to risk losing their data or progress across any less frequented apps and games by deleting them for good. 

A TV playing video and an iPhone held on the front displaying the use of Facetime

Loser: YouTube

Our loser this week is YouTube after Google announced a list of new features coming to its paid YouTube Premium tier – including one feature that most apps include for free

The offending feature here is Apple SharePlay, a FaceTime perk Apple introduced alongside iOS 15 toward the end of 2021. The feature allows users to stream audio and video content together in FaceTime in a similar vein to the Netflix video-sharing extension Teleparty. 

However, unlike Teleparty, Disney Plus’ GroupWatch and Amazon Prime’s Watch Party, SharePlay works across a variety of third-party streaming services and allows you to remain in a video chat with your friends and family at the same time. 

Unlike other apps like TikTok and Twitch that have implemented the feature for free, YouTube will require you to buy a Premium membership to share videos on FaceTime. That means you’ll need to budget £11.99 a month to take advantage of the iOS feature with YouTube. 

The ability to watch content with friends online might not seem as crucial in 2023 as it did a few years ago when we were all locked indoors, but it’s nevertheless frustrating to see Google lock a typically free feature behind the YouTube Premium paywall.

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