Google has announced that it is adding the ability to view videos offline on the Android YouTube app – but currently only for users in India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The new functionality will apparently let users download and cache videos for up to 48 hours without needing an internet connection. The reason for the regional restriction is apparently due to the three countries being good in terms of smartphone ownership – yet bad for affordable mobile data packages. So the idea is that you can download something to watch on the bus via wifi at home instead.
It’ll be interesting to see if the feature gets rolled out globally – as though the UK has better data packages, it is still annoying when you’ve got a 1GB/month limit.
Presumably the company is also using this as a test for the forthcoming YouTube Music Key, which is also promising offline viewing of music videos.
We’ll keep you posted.