YouTube Go for Android: lite YouTube app by Google

YouTube Go is a new application for Android by Google designed for markets where available bandwidth and reception may be lacking.

While the official YouTube application for Android works well in many situations, it is not the lightest of applications.

YouTube Go has been designed by Google to improve the experience by creating a lighter app that is not as taxing to the device, and plays better in low-bandwidth or bad reception scenarios. It features a couple of unique features, but lacks also many classic YouTube features such as commenting or channels.

The app is currently in beta, and not available in all markets. While it may not be offered on Google Play, it is offered elsewhere. The app itself is not restricted, so that you can run it on your device even if you are not in a supported location.

Word of warning: The app is very heavy on the permission side of things. Permissions include rights to record audio at any time, contact modifications, modifying system settings, getting your precise location, reading your text messages and contacts.

In fact, it is necessary to register a phone number on first launch of YouTube Go to use it at all . Why that is needed? So that YouTube Go can scan the contacts regularly to show you friends that use the app.

YouTube Go

youtube go

The app is a lite version of YouTube which means that you won't get many of the features of YouTube or the YouTube app.



Comments are not available for instance, and so aren't channels and many other features.

You may use the built-in search to find videos on YouTube, or by browsing the list of recommended videos. The next step is interesting, as videos don't play immediately. You get an informational prompt instead that lists different quality levels, how much Megabyte each level requires when the video is played using it, and a save button for offline watching.

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Save is not available for all videos though, but I'm not sure if this is a regional feature and not available globally. Video owners may allow or deny options to save or share videos.

Apart from options to pick different quality levels based on Megabyte information, and downloading videos if allowed, it is sharing that is the apps' third major feature.

You may share videos with friends and family nearby, and google notes that video transfers use no data when shared this way, and that it only takes a quick Internet security check to play the video.

This is interesting obviously. Google does not mention how that is done, but the most likely scenario is that it is using another data transfer option for those videos and not mobile data.

Closing Words

YouTube Go is a lightweight app that delivers some interesting features. It is unfortunately quite hungry when it comes to permissions, and requires you to enter a mobile phone number and link it to a Google Account before you can even get started using it. (via Caschy)

Now You: Would you use an app like YouTube Go?

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YouTube Go for Android: lite YouTube app by Google
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YouTube Go is a new application for Android by Google designed for markets where available bandwidth and reception may be lacking.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to YouTube Go for Android: lite YouTube app by Google

  1. mate February 9, 2017 at 9:29 pm #

    NewPipe is better.

  2. mikef90000 February 9, 2017 at 11:18 pm #

    "Would you use an app like YouTube Go?"
    Absolutely NOT!
    What an intrusive POS with even less functionality than standard, dumbed down, YT.

    I don't watch videos on my smartphone, but I do use the YT app to bookmark music that pops back up into my brain after decades in the background. Happens when you get older :-).

    • Wayfarer February 10, 2017 at 2:00 am #

      Absolutely with you, mate. So many people seem to think - in Android - that features are the thing.

      I think that PERMISSIONS are what's important. Not to mention bloat-code. And given that so many device manufacturers can't be arsed to give us the latest Android updates (so we can control permissions to some extent) then there's a hell of a lot of apps I won't even consider.

      I really think that Android is a great OS. But it really (REALLY!) needs to get its act together if it wants to start generating trust and confidence. Anyone who thinks the Google Play Store is a safe environment needs their head examined.

  3. XenoSilvano February 10, 2017 at 5:15 am #

    "Word of warning: The app is very heavy on the permission side of things. Permissions include rights to record audio at any time, contact modifications, modifying system settings, getting your precise location, reading your text messages and contacts"

    No thanks, I was hoping that this app could have served as a substitution for the standard app on a smart phone watch that I use, however I am not willing to give the app all the concessions to the OS that it requests, therefore I will pass

  4. Drobak February 10, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    I just use Firefox for Android with uBlock Origin to get YouTube videos on smartphone without ads and CPU demanding, battery eating, data wasting shit.

    • Rick A. February 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

      Exactly. i do the same thing and couldn't recommend this method more.

    • Drobak February 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

      I forgot doubly improved privacy, since not only do you get intrinsic protection from using Firefox + uBlock, you also avoid leaking data like a pierced bottle from installing stupidly intrusive crap.

      The permissions for this particular app are crazy. Recording audio at any time ? Modifying contacts ? Reading text messages ? WTF.

  5. Tony February 10, 2017 at 11:57 pm #

    Like too many Google products, this product is highly invasive. No way will I use this, or the regular YouTube app.

    Can't wait until a different company comes out with a mobile OS that actually lets you enable/disable permissions per app.

    Google once had something called AppOps that was a step in the right direction, but it appears that they canned it.

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