YouTube's offline feature is coming, but may only appear in emerging markets

YouTube's often teased, but not released, offline viewing feature for its mobile apps is finally going to make an appearance, Google promises. Alas, it seems the company decided to enable the function for emerging markets only.

Today, Google announced the launch of the first devices to be released in India, under the Android One program. If you are not familiar with it – it is an effort by Google to bring low-priced phones to emerging markets. To do that, the search giant partners up with OEMs in its target regions and helps them in the development of phones, which offer features that are best catered towards local customers, while keeping the price tag as low as possible.

Alongside this launch, Google also announced it would soon be bringing the YouTube app's offline capabilities in India. Since the phones are aimed at the budget crowd, who often have a limited data plan, this function should help them pre-load their device with a few videos, while near Wi-Fi, then watch them when out and about.

To download videos, users will have to press an “add to device” button, which should appear somewhere on a video's page. The video is then stored on the device for as long as one decides to keep it. We are curious to know how the search giant intends to go about monetizing the offline service.

Google, again, did not give a time-frame, neither did it say anything about the feature being enabled in other markets as well. It seems it may be an emerging-market-exclusive for now, which is kind of a let-down.

source: Medianama via Neowin

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