Of all the apps we keep an eye on here at Android Police, YouTube annoys us the most because of its endless stream of server-side tests. We've always wished the app had a beta channel on the Play Store and that those tests would be accomplished through it. Well, at least the first part of that equation is now coming true.
YouTube has rolled out an official Play Store beta program for its Android app. You can join in by browsing the listing on your phone and scrolling down to find the beta section, or you can simply go to the beta page and join there. Although I've done that an hour ago, I still don't see any updates available to me, so there may not be any new beta version out yet.
While we're hoping (against all hope) that the YouTube team will actually use this version to test out new features, like the Gboard and Chrome teams do (more or less), we're afraid this may end up like the Google app, Maps, Facebook, or Instagram story — a "beta" on paper, but server-side tests for anyone and everyone in reality.
In other YouTube news, the YouTube Go app has reached 100 million downloads. First announced in 2016, this data and offline-friendly version of YouTube started off as a closed test in India then made its official debut in November of 2017. It quickly reached 10 million downloads, but its rapid success mostly likely comes from three other factors. First, it expanded to 130 countries in February, it's included out of the box in every Android Go edition device, and anytime anyone opens the regular YouTube listing on the Play Store, they see a suggestion to check out the smaller YouTube Go.
I would think the latter played the most important role in getting it to those 100 million installs; users are eager to save data and watch videos offline. YouTube Go currently the most popular of all Go apps — Google, Files, and Maps have only recently reached 10 million and the others are still at 5 million.