YouTube’s latest beta test brings one of its best Music-exclusive features to the main Android app

But it is only available for certain European users for now.


While many Google apps use server-side updates to test upcoming features with a select group of users, YouTube does things a little differently. The video giant has an easily accessible list of upcoming enhancements currently in beta, allowing any watcher, as long as they’re a Premium subscriber, to sign up and use the tools in development a little earlier than usual. Its latest feature is now live, though its audience is a bit more region-locked than you might expect.

The company is testing “smart downloads” for its Android app, bringing one of its best YouTube Music tools to the main app (via 9to5Google). Once enabled, Smart Downloads automatically save recommended videos to your phone over a Wi-Fi network, so you’re ready to keep watching no matter where life takes you. Downloaded content appears in the Library tab, along with your watch history and playlists. With the maximum number of videos downloaded each week limited to 20, you don’t need to worry about YouTube stealing all of your phone’s internal storage.

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Unfortunately, not everyone can participate in this latest experiment, regardless of their Premium status. This feature appears on YouTube’s “New” webpage or hidden “Try new features” menu within the mobile app, but only for some users in Europe. It does not appear to be live anywhere in North America or other regions of the world.

Still, it seems likely that smart downloads will eventually come to the standard YouTube app. Sooner or later, any Premium subscriber will have the opportunity to store some automatically downloaded videos.


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