YouTube for Android gets offline video playback, but there’s a catch

Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Android.

Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Android.

Google has confirmed plans to bring an offline mode to YouTube that will allow users to download videos and watch them later without a data connection. The feature will be rolled out to users “in the coming weeks,” but there is a catch.

Offline mode, which was announced at an Android One event in New Delhi today, will initially be available only to users in India. It’s designed to help users save on data costs by allowing them to download videos at home over Wi-Fi which can then be enjoyed on the go without the use of their cellular connection, and to improve the experience for those with slow connections.

YouTube’s offline mode was spotted in an official Google Play screenshot back in August. Although the feature will make its debut in India, Google is expected to bring it to other markets later on. It’s not quite the video download feature you’ve been hoping for, however.

Although you will be able to save videos locally, Google is likely to use measures that will prevent you from taking those videos off your device and saving them elsewhere. What’s more, it’s likely the videos you store for offline use will be automatically deleted after a certain period of time.