YouTube screenshots hint at offline playback mode


Google rolled out an update for its YouTube app this week accompanied by new Google Play screenshots that tease a new offline mode. The unreleased feature is expected to allow users to save videos locally for a short period of time so that they can be enjoyed without an Internet connection.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen indications of an offline mode for the YouTube app; it has been spotted in APK tear-downs before. Google even announced its plans to deliver the feature way back in September 2013 on the official YouTube blog.

But its presence in these screenshots — which were presumably taken from a test build being used internally — suggest offline mode could be closer to public release than ever before.

Google has long been against downloading and saving YouTube videos, and it quickly cracks down on applications that offer this functionality. So it’s no surprise that its official offline mode is likely to be heavily restricted. You certainly won’t be able to keep videos permanently; they’ll be saved for a short period only before presumably being deleted automatically.

That’s better than no offline mode at all, at least, but who knows when it will be available to the public.