Today a new version of the YouTube app for Android started rolling out on Google Play. The update includes revamped search results with videos, playlists and channels grouped together, new tabs on channel pages, and other fixes and enhancements. The update might not be all that exciting, but new code in the app discovered by AndroidPolice points to some big new features potentially coming to the app in the future.
Several references to “Music Pass” in the app’s code have many speculating that YouTube could be gearing up to launch its rumored subscription based music focused streaming service. Back in October, Billboard reported that YouTube was developing a streaming service that would allow users to stream music videos along with regular audio tracks.
Some other clues from the code include references to “offline playback”, “no ads on millions of songs”, and the ability to play music in the background. We can only speculate that the no ads would be for some type of premium service, much like on Google Play Music, but it’s clear YouTube has at the very least offline streaming and background audio features in the works. It will be interesting to see how Google positions the YouTube service against its own Play Music streaming service.