In the last year or so, YouTube's mobile apps have taken on big changes and they've gained some pretty interesting functionality. Such as the ability to keep watching a video while searching for more or leave a comment. Now though, YouTube has left a note on their Creator Blog detailing an upcoming change to mobile apps. Soon, users will be able to watch videos offline on YouTube's mobile apps. We're assuming that this is only Android at this point but, maybe iOS users will be allowed in on the fun soon. The change is apparently not coming into effect until November, however.
This is likely going to be more of a caching situation than it is an outright downloading one. After all, downloading videos from YouTube is against their Terms of Service. The way the post on the creator blog describes it is like this:
This upcoming feature will allow people to add videos to their device to watch for a short period when an Internet connection is unavailable. So your fans' ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute.
To us, this sounds like a temporary caching of videos, which is certainly better than nothing. Those that travel to work, using the subway or something like that will know that switching between 4G, 3G and even 2G is no good at all for watching YouTube. With this however, you can queue up some of your favorite subscriptions and watch them on the go.
There's no telling just how long you'll be able to cache the videos for but, we wouldn't assume for long periods of time as we're sure Google would rather you remain online than caching everything to watch offline. This is an interesting move for Google and YouTube however, with 4G and 3G networks patchy at best, it makes a lot of sense. It keeps people involved with YouTube on the go, even if they can't get online.
How many of you would use this new feature? Let us know in the comments below.