YouTube Go, Google’s data-friendly app, expands to over 130 countries, now supports higher quality videos – TechCrunch
YouTube Go, a mobile version of YouTube designed for emerging markets with features like offline viewing and nearby sharing, now extends to more than 130 countries around the world. This wider rollout will make YouTube Go accessible to a large number of people who want to be able to watch YouTube videos, even if they don’t have a good connection or find themselves offline.
The list of new countries includes those in Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and elsewhere.
The app was first introduced in September 2016, before launch in beta last spring.
Like other apps designed for emerging markets, YouTube Go includes a suite of features that take into account high data costs, low signal strength, and widespread use of SD cards on Android devices.
For starters, the app lets users control their reading experience by selecting lower quality streams during slower connections, or they can choose to record videos for playback when offline. This offline playback feature allows users to download YouTube videos to their phone or SD card. (You can also watch a video preview before you decide to download.)
Another smart feature is YouTube Go’s sharing feature which lets you show videos to nearby friends – another way YouTube Go works with devices that don’t have a reliable connection.
This feature first locates the friend’s phone using Bluetooth and BLE for discovery and connection, then uses Wi-Fi Hotspot (the feature on your phone) and Wi-Fi Direct for transfer. YouTube explains, the app establishes a secure wireless channel between two phones using established wireless protocols and encryption. The receiver then downloads a unique decryption key from YouTube’s servers before the video can be played in the YouTube app.
However, the company tells us that it is still experimenting with protocols and may choose to use different protocols in the future to provide “the fastest, most reliable, and secure connections to the widest range of devices.” ‘devices’.
Additionally, the home screen of the YouTube Go app highlights locally popular videos and is presented in the user’s language.
YouTube Go’s first market was India, but its reach then expanded to 14 other countries last year, including Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, and others.
With today’s launch, the company claims to have made some design changes based on feedback from these early adopters.
Now, YouTube Go allows users to choose the option to download, stream or share videos in high quality, in addition to basic and standard quality, for times when a strong signal is available – such as when connected. to a good Wi-Fi network, for example.
It also made it easier to access the “share nearby” feature and added the ability for users to share multiple videos at once.
The app has also improved its personalized recommendations. Now users can view new recommendations on the home screen and will be alerted when their favorite channels add new videos.
YouTube Go is available on the Google Play Store here.