Google has been building up to something big with YouTube, as indicated by our recent APK teardowns. It looks like yet another version of the YouTube app is rolling out to devices all over the world, and we've got the file for you to check out. It's not a huge update at first glance, but maybe there's something beneath the surface.
The first really obvious visual change is a slight reorganization of the slide-out navigation menu. If it wasn't pointed out to you, you might not even realize. What to Watch is now at the top of the list, followed by a link to your subscriptions.
Remember the kinder, gentler YouTube comments powered by Google+? Well, they're finally rolling out across the internet, and the Android app is no exception. Like it or not, Google+ is all up in your YouTube.
Yesterday Billboard issued a report claiming that Google subsidiary YouTube is preparing to release a streaming music service. This service would be offered in both free and premium tiers a la Spotify, and it is reportedly a separate entity from Google Play's music service, All Access. Specific details on date and price are not available, but Billboard claims that all the licensing deals made through All Access will be available for the new service and a launch is tentatively planned for before the end of the year.
The report says that the service (let's call it YouTube Music for the sake of brevity) will be offered on both web and mobile platforms, with the free tier having access to all the networked music and video content and the paid tier removing advertising.
I've been doing APK teardowns for a while now, and most of the time exciting updates end up being relatively boring under-the-hood, only rarely dropping really fascinating hints at future functionality. Today, I was pleasantly surprised, as the situation with YouTube 5.2.27 is exactly the opposite - the update itself couldn't be less boring, but the nugget we dig up inside will make a lot of you very happy.
So, without further ado, I'm glad to report that background audio should be finally coming to a YouTube app near you, if all goes well during testing. This feature will let you start a video, exit the app, and switch to something else without the audio stream dying, which is incredibly useful when listening to podcasts or music videos, or just quickly checking an incoming text.
Google is quietly rolling out an update to YouTube for Android with version 5.2.27 on top of the current version 5.1.10. If you're eager to install it right now, we have some download links towards the end of the post.
While 5.2.27 does have a whole bunch of changes under-the-hood which are mostly related to the upcoming offline download support, there are, surprisingly, no UI tweaks and new features that you can dive into right now.
Usually, when we see an app go from X.1 to X.2, there is at least something new to play with, but after looking at every screen I could think of, I saw nothing.
Last month YouTube announced that they were going to introduce an offline viewing option to their mobile apps sometime in November. They've since rolled out details about how it's going to work. If you add videos to your device and then disconnect it from the Internet, you will be able to watch the content for up to 48 hours. After those two days have passed, you will have to reconnect in order to watch the videos again, but the 48 hour window will refresh, and the content will remain on your device.
Offline videos and playlists will be stored under an "on device" section of the YouTube sidebar, and you can add more content from the watch page of whatever you're viewing.
We've got one last Google update to discuss this evening – YouTube. Bumping up to version 5.1.1, YouTube didn't get an official change log, but there are a few things worth discussing briefly (before Artem does his teardown magic, anyway).
First up, YouTube has a new permission for receiving data from the internet, which it uses to give you new video notifications.
YouTube comments have a reputation for being one of the most retched hives of scum and villainy this side of 4Chan. Things are about to change in YouTube land, though. Google has just announced that YouTube comments are switching over to Google+ in the coming months, starting with the channel discussion tab later this week.
YouTube currently floats the two most up-voted comments to the top, but when G+ takes over, it's going to factor in more variables. Comments from the video's creator, popular personalities, and people in your circles will be placed closer to the top. Users will also be able to add comments that are restricted to individual people or Circles.
The YouTube team is hard at work stomping out the various interruptions that disrupt our binge video consumption. Their last major update to the mobile app introduced a sometimes awesome, sometimes annoying, picture-in-picture-ish feature that keeps the current video streaming while you search for the next one to play. Now the team is adding the ability to temporarily save videos for offline viewing. This way not even a power outage can come between you and those adorable cats.
The team says the new feature will enable fans to save video for an unspecified short period of time. Hopefully these videos linger around long enough to enjoy in the middle of a camping trip, while your kid's benched during a baseball game, or during a cross-country flight.
I love the Chromecast. I'd easily call it the best $35 I ever spent, ranking just above those tanks of gas that got me to job interviews on time and that one Thai restaurant I really like. All I need is the addition of Hulu Plus support, and then I would have little need to turn to anything else for projecting content onto my TV. But here's the thing, Google's neat little dongle sold out roughly as fast as tickets to a Green Bay Packers home game, and while the Google Play store has Chromecasts in stock now, many of you still haven't gotten your hands on one.