Google’s data-friendly version of YouTube, YouTube Go has now been availed to over 130 countries worldwide.
YouTube Go was developed with a focus on the developing countries where data charges remain out of reach for many. In its design, Google tried to address the concern of high data charges users have, through features like offline viewing and sharing of videos via Bluetooth from device to device.
YouTube Go is ideal for folks who want to watch videos on YouTube but have expensive and not always reliable internet connection. In essence, people who would not ordinarily stream the same videos time and time again, every time they want to watch it.
The app had been in beta test in India in 2017 before being rolled out to additional countries, including Kenya, last December. Google has added a couple of new feature before availing it to the additional 130 countries worldwide. Some of the features include the ability to preview a video first before you decide to download it for offline viewing. The video(s) will be saved on your phone or the SD card if available.
A heaven-sent feature with the YouTube Go is the ability to share offline videos with other devices nearby via Bluetooth connection. As it works out, the community saves on data by each person downloading a different video from the other. They can then share all the videos among themselves. This way one individual only pays for the data of downloading one (or few) videos, but after sharing with other people, they end up having all the videos they wanted.
To share videos, your phone will first connect to another device via Bluetooth (or BLE for discovery) then establish a Wi-Fi Hotspot and use Wi-Fi Direct to make the transfer. However, Google says it is continuously experimenting with various protocols and perhaps may decide to use a different channel all together in the future. The company is working on getting “the fastest, most reliable, and secure connections to the broadest range of devices.”
To help you in identifying videos to download, YouTube Go home screen showcased the most popular videos in your locality and preferably in your local language. Unlike the previous version, this most recent one, comes with the option of downloading, streaming, or sharing your videos in High Quality. That is in addition to basic and standard quality.
The ‘Share Nearby’ feature is also now easily accessible, and you can also (now) share multiple videos simultaneously. The YouTube videos recommendations have also been personalized, based on your history and search.
You can download YouTube Go from Play Store here.