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.
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.
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.
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)
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