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The YouTube app could finally get a sleep timer (APK teardown)

YouTube could join YouTube Music, Spotify, and podcast apps in offering a sleep timer.
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Published onJune 24, 2024

YouTube TV logo on smartphone stock photo (2)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • YouTube is working on implementing a sleep timer for the Android app, according to our teardown.
  • This would allow playback to automatically stop after a specified period of time.
  • The app’s code suggests you can skip the timer and continue playback too.

Sleep timers are a common feature on podcast and music streaming apps, letting you specify when playback stops. This is handy for bedtime, as the name implies, automatically stopping playback after you’ve fallen asleep. YouTube lacks this feature, but our teardown reveals that the option is in the works.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

Android app expert AssembleDebug, in conjunction with Android Authority, dug into a beta version of the YouTube app for Android (version 19.25.33). We discovered references to sleep timer functionality — check them out below.

YouTube app sleep timer references AssembleDebug
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

The references suggest that you can specify the hours and/or minutes left until playback stops. There’s also a “sleep_timer_notification_channel_name” mention, suggesting that the timer will be displayed as a notification.

“You can reset the timer or click done to keep watching,” reads a possible dialog option. In other words, you can always step in if you want to listen/watch a little longer.

This would nevertheless be an overdue addition to the YouTube app, especially in light of YouTube Music offering a sleep timer. Android phone users have had to resort to third-party apps and workarounds for similar functionality on YouTube. Meanwhile, iPhone users can set a system-wide timer and tap when timer ends > stop playing to implement their own sleep timer for media playback.

We also hope the YouTube app’s sleep timer eventually gains an “end of video” option, much like YouTube Music’s “end of song” setting. This would stop playback when you reach the end of a video. But there’s no evidence of this option just yet.

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