YouTube Go Android App Surpasses 10 Million Downloads

The YouTube Go Android app surpassed 10 million downloads earlier this month, as evidenced by its recently updated Google Play Store listing which now puts its install base in the range between 10 and 50 million. Having originally leaked in early 2017 after being announced in September of last year, YouTube Go went through a lengthy period of tweaks and optimizations before officially hitting the stable channel last month, though it still isn't available on a global level and presumably won't be anytime soon. Google's video subsidiary repeatedly stated YouTube Go is solely targeted at developing countries where reliable access to high-speed mobile connections isn't guaranteed, making a Western release of the mobile service somewhat unlikely.

The lightweight version of YouTube not only comes with lower hardware requirements but also provides users with the option of downloading videos for offline viewing and even allows them to share such clips with other YouTube Go users via Bluetooth. While downloads are limited to 480p and lower resolutions, the feature still facilitates the process of enjoying YouTube despite having a spotty mobile connection or not having access to a sufficiently fast one. There are no limitations on offline viewing using YouTube Go, with users being able to rewatch locally stored clips indefinitely without ads. The latest milestone surpassed by the app isn't major in the context of Google's Android offerings, with the company presently having 19 apps with over a billion downloads, yet it still suggests YouTube Go is gaining traction at a relatively reasonable pace and may be able to hit the 100-million mark in 2018 if it maintains its current momentum and Google ends up bringing it to more developing countries.

The stable version of YouTube Go features geoblocking capabilities and is hence resistant to being sideloaded in officially unsupported countries, with the app itself officially supporting all smartphones and tablets running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and later builds of Google's mobile operating system. Older APKs can still be sideloaded in any country but may not work as expected. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant has yet to acknowledge the download milestone reached by its app and still hasn't detailed its long-term development plans for YouTube Go.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Senior Writer
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]