Beta version of YouTube Go app, designed for spotty Internet connections, goes live in India


Google took the wraps off YouTube Go, a lightweight version of YouTube for data conscious users back in September of last year. The tech giant announced this redesigned version of its video streaming platform to cater to the needs of the users in developing nations – with sluggish internet connections in remote areas. Thus, starting from today, Google is making a beta version of the app available for download on the Play Store in India.

As for the primary features of this app, YouTube has focused on simplifying the user experience by providing a cleaner home screen and an offline-first viewing alternative. This application has basically been designed from the ground up (instead of stripping down the existing YouTube app) to provide a seamless video streaming experience while saving on precious mobile data.

The highlight of the YouTube Go app is that it enables a user to download the video and save it for offline preview. But, before saving the video, the app serves you with a video preview on tapping the thumbnail. This provides you a brief look at the video, helping you decide whether you want to download the same or not.

And if you do go through with downloading it, you’re served with a variety of video quality options. The streaming happens at 640p as the app doesn’t support 720p or higher resolution. But, the app focuses on transparency and provides you control over data usage by displaying the amount of data spent on streaming or saving videos. Since the YouTube Go app has been designed with video viewing in mind, there are no interaction options — cannot like/dislike or comment on the video.

Further, another significant feature of the app is the data-saving video sharing mode. This enables you to directly share saved videos from within the app to nearby Youtube Go users over a local ad-hoc Wi-Fi hotspot. As the transfer will happen over a locally created Wi-Fi connection, thus no additional data is consumed for either of the involved parties.

For the last couple of months, the tech giant had been conducting extensive tests on YouTube Go by making it available early for those looking to test drive the app. The feedback collected from this early access program enabled Google to further enhance the experience before today’s beta release. This helped them refresh the home screen design and offline video sharing feature to make it seamless and more relevant to users.

YouTube Go is currently available for download in India, but there the application will its official debut in other emerging markets in the coming months. The launch of the app is perfectly timed as analysts are now forecasting further surge in video consumption in the country. And this could be credited to, as you may have guessed it, the advent of Reliance Jio and its free services offer for the populace of India. It has heated up the rivalry in the telecom industry, pushing its competitors to provide cheaper data services to the consumers.


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