Google Releases The ‘Offline-First’ App YouTube Go In India

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In September during its Google for India event, YouTube first showcased the “Made for India” YouTube Go app, and on Wednesday, the video streaming service released the beta version in the Play Store in India. The app will be released in other emerging markets later.

What’s new in the YouTube Go app?

John Harding, vice president of engineering at YouTube, said, “As we talked to people in the market, they didn’t want something that felt like a stripped down version of YouTube – they wanted the full experience.”

The Internet giant is planning to launch the stable version of the YouTube Go app later.

In a blog post, the company said that the app is based on four main principles: relatable, with fresh and relevant video content; offline first; more control over data usage; and social.

The app, launched after months of expanded testing and refinement, is designed to work on flaky and slow internet connections, which are mostly found in emerging markets. The app enables users to monitor their data use, giving them more control over how they want to consume data on videos. Users will not only be able to save videos for offline viewing, but they will also be able to select the video resolution based on the speed of their Internet connection.

Users will also be able to share videos with others by using Wi-Fi Direct. The flagship YouTube app does not offer the Wi-Fi Direct capability feature, notes Mashable. Further, there are time, when the user does not know whether they would like the video or not. The beta will allow the user to check the content in the video without even starting it by tapping a thumbnail.

What inspired Google for this app?

Even when more and more people in the country are coming online, the quality of the Internet there is below average. Only about 30% of the Indians have access to a connection that is over 4Mbps, claims Akamai, and this is what inspired Google to come up with such an app.

In a blog post, YouTube product manager Jay Akkad said they had worked hard on refining the features that users have inspired them to build, and they have learned new things along the way.

“Some things we’ve learned in the run-up to this beta release include making the home screen fresher and more relevant for users, so they can find amazing videos easily,” Akkad said.

The home screen features popular and trending videos in a region so that a user can discover videos they care about. The app will also suggest 10 new videos every week based on browsing history, patterns and languages.

Google says it will continue to improve the app throughout its beta stage and will conduct some on-the-ground events to get feedback from users. The beta product opened for registrations in September, with only some users given access.

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