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November 28, 2017

Google’s slimmed-down YouTube Go app is officially out of beta

by John_A

Google’s latest YouTube app — YouTube Go — is officially out of beta but is only available in select 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 back in September, and Google described it as an app “built from scratch” to bring YouTube to “the next generation of viewers” — folks saddled, in other words, 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,” YouTube’s Vice President of Product Management Johanna Wright 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 can watch them even if you have slow or even no internet connection. You’re able to choose between basic quality, standard quality, and high quality before pressing play or choosing to download it instead.

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, per se. In 2014, Google launched YouTube Offline, a setting within the YouTube app that lets users download videos. Smart Offline, which launched earlier this year, automatically schedules downloads on days and times when networks are least congested.

YouTube Go is available for download in the Google Play Store in select countries such as India, Indonesia, Egypt, and a few more. The app also works on Android 4.1, Jelly Bean and up.

Update: YouTube Go is officially out of beta and available in select countries 

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