The new functionality of the YouTube app for Android will automatically download videos to our mobile, so that we can watch them without having to be connected to the Internet.
It’s a functionality that will be familiar to those who use the YouTube Music streaming service. “Smart downloads” are based on our history and our tastes to download songs automatically when we are connected to a stable WiFi network; in this way, if we are in an area without connection, or we want to save data, we can listen to the songs that are already downloaded.
YouTube has applied the same idea to its main app, and is already publicly testing it; some users in Europe of the Android app have received a notification that they can temporarily activate the functionality, available as option in the Library section and in Downloads.
Once activated, YouTube’s algorithms will find videos that could interest us, and will automatically download them to the phone’s memory. That way, we can play them even if we don’t have an Internet connection; it can be especially useful to avoid spending all the monthly data, since videos require more bandwidth.
Since they take up more space than music, the app only will download up to 20 videos every week, and will take into account the space available on the device; if it is too low, it will not download anything and will ask us to confirm that we want to download them. Downloaded videos will appear in the Downloads section of the app.
Of course, the question is whether the downloaded videos will be the ones we want to see; This feature has received praise on YouTube Music, so it can work well in the main app.