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YouTube working on offline viewing for mobiles

YouTube Mobile

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 18 Sep 2013 at 10:15

YouTube is working on bringing offline viewing to its mobile apps, letting users watch videos without an internet connection.

The offline viewing mode will let users cache videos for later viewing, when the user might not have a data connection. It wasn't immediately clear how the system will work, what the video quality will be, or how many videos will be allowed to be stored on a device.

Google said the new feature is set to arrive in November. "This upcoming feature will allow people to add videos to their device to watch for a short period when an internet connection is unavailable," the company said in a post on the YouTube Creators blog. "So your fans’ ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute."

The offline mode is a step up YouTube's "prefetching" feature, which lets you preload videos from subscribed channels and playlists while on Wi-Fi to watch "on smooth playback" later, when using mobile broadband. You still need to have a connection, and it only works on Android 4.0 or later.

Last month, YouTube added more mobile features, including better support for playlists, making them searchable on mobile, and letting users play all the videos in one click, rather than have to hit next for each video.

The move to offline - if it supports enough videos, and a user has enough space on their smartphone - could allow users to listen to music without a connection for free, rather than shell out for mobile support from streaming music services, such as Spotify.

Of course, there are already plenty of unofficial apps allowing YouTube videos to be downloaded for offline viewing.

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User comments

you tube and WP

Google in general want to be concentrating some effort on NOT actively blocking any app for Windows Phone. Be it 3rd party or by MS (google will not build anything for the rival platform).

By nickallison on 18 Sep 2013

Hope they implement this in HTML5 so works on lots of platforms.

By JamesD29 on 18 Sep 2013


There are plenty of Google apps available on iOS, which I expect is what they regard as "the rival platform"!

By JohnAHind on 18 Sep 2013


You may well be correct on the rival platform thing.
However, taking that to its logical conclusion: If google consider WP, nothing more than, a bit player, why go out of their way to stop other developers, MS and third party, from accessing their content.
Surely, as a "bit player", they have nothing to fear. Unless, secretly, they think they have, something to fear.

By nickallison on 18 Sep 2013


Having just banned the WP app, because it allowed offline playback, now they want to release the same functionality on Android? :-S

By big_D on 18 Sep 2013

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