Google announced its made for India YouTube Go Android app on Tuesday. YouTube Go, which is essentially a toned-down version of the original YouTube app, designed specifically to work on slow Internet is currently in beta and will be rolled out officially in early 2017. The announcement was made at the company’s second edition of Google for India event, held in the national capital.
Google, however, insists that YouTube Go is not just another Lite version of the original YouTube app. It’s simply a revamped version of it, designed for markets like India where slow Internet connectivity is a sad reality.
The YouTube Go app broadly focuses on four aspects: being offline-first, offering search relatability, cutting Internet usage costs and video sharing. The app seems to have been reworked from scratch and uses a different home screen and a new logo. It has a simple interface showing a total of ten videos by default (with a search more option below), to make sure users are not overwhelmed, to begin with, says Google. Whatever be the case, starting next year, be prepared for two different YouTube apps in the Play Store. There is still no word on when the app will be available for iOS.
“We’ve always believed that connectivity should not be a barrier to watching YouTube. In 2014 we launched YouTube Offline so you could watch videos without suffering from buffering. A few months ago we rolled out Smart Offline, a feature that allows you to schedule videos to be saved offline later at off-peak times, when there’s more bandwidth so data is faster and cheaper. But we realised that for the next generation of YouTube users to fully discover all that YouTube has to offer, we had to reimagine the YouTube mobile app from the ground up,” Johanna Wright, YouTube Vice President for Product Management said.
Google is banking on the fact that “YouTube Go will allow users to save and watch videos smoothly even in poor connectivity.”
The app — now in beta — supports five Indian languages. By the time it goes live, YouTube Go will support up to 10 Indian languages.
The most striking feature of the app however is its smart preview function which allows users to basically check out what they are going to watch and/or save for later, before they do that.
“On YouTube Go when you tap on a thumbnail, it’ll trigger a quick preview of the video, giving you a better sense of what the video is about before you decide to save or play it,” the company said in a statement.
Using preview, users will be able to select the desired resolution, between low and standard, to watch their videos or save for offline viewing. They will also be able to share these videos via Wi-Fi direct transfers.
The app will also have a whole new method of monetisation in that it will feature 6 second long bumper ads, different from what the regular YouTube app offers.