As part of Sundar Pichai’s talk at the Google for India press conference, he has unveiled some new features for YouTube that are designed to help avoid streaming problems associated with questionable data connections.
Pichai announced that YouTube will soon be updated with two new offline features. The first option builds on YouTube’s offline feature that is available in India, allowing users to configure set times when videos will be downloaded in the background for viewing at a later date. This is designed to empower users to only download lumps of data when costs are cheaper or connections are stronger.
The second improvement has been made to YouTube’s pause buffer. The tweak means that a video will continue to fully buffer even if the viewer hits pause. Furthermore, the video will continue to download even if the user switches away from the YouTube app. A system notification is displayed once a video has buffered to 100 percent, so you can simply wait for a download to finish and won’t have to worry about infuriating interruptions.
We don’t have a release schedule for these YouTube updates yet, but as they were announced in India and are targeted at countries with patchy network connections we can probably expect these regions to see the update first.